View more on these topics

FSA fails small firms on TCF, says report

The Financial Services Authority has been blamed for a “massive communications gap” when it comes to guiding small firms on its Treating Customers Fairly initiative.

With TCF’s March 31 implementation deadline fast approaching, a report by Mortgage Next has revealed that just 6% of small brokers are ready to implement the initiative.

Justine Tomlinson, marketing dir-ector at Mortgage Next, says: “The results of our survey are concerning but we cannot lay the blame for this on small firms.

“The FSA has created a massive communications gap, choosing to communicate key messages to large firms while expecting small ones with limited resources to update themselves. The regulator needs to support networks and service providers that are well placed to bridge this gap.”

David Sheppard, director of small firm Principia, says: “The FSA just sends out a regular newsletter. There is little communication and when it does communicate it is not always clear.

“There is some way to go before we will feel fully informed on all its regulations and issues.”

But the FSA argues that it has published plenty of information on its website when it comes to TCF practices for smaller firms.

Stephen Bland, director of the small firms division at the FSA, says: “We will develop the principle of TCF and how it applies to smaller firms, and will also work closely with trade bodies and industry representatives. We hope to communicate clearly what TCF means for smaller organisations.”


Demand for traded endowments rises

The number of traded endowment policies purchased in 2006 more than doubled compared with the previous year, says the Association of Policy Market Makers. Brian Goldstein, chairman of APMM, says: “Last year, market-makers saw record levels of demand for TEPs. It looks like 2007 will be even more successful.”

PTFS unveils 110% buy-to-let deal

Personal Touch Financial Services has teamed up with BM Solutions to launch an exclusive buy-to-let deal with 110% rental calculation.

Terraced houses rise in price

Terraced houses have seen the greatest increases in price over the past 10 years, research by Halifax Estate Agents reveals. Over the past decade, the average terraced house price has risen by 239%. Semi-detached house prices rose 95% while flats and maisonettes have increased in value by 87%.

FSA cost savings are nowhere near enough

So the Financial Services Authority has vowed to save firms 1m by merging customer functions in its approved persons reg-ime into a new single category.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up