Brokers warned technology may fall short of TCF guidelines

Data management firm iiCon has warned that a high number of brokers still don’t have systems capable of testing Treating Customers Fairly.

This comes as a result of the Financial Services Authority’s newsletter to financial advisers, highlighting the need for further improvement ahead of its March TCF deadline.

At present, even those brokers who submit applications online will only store 50% of their client communication, with the rest being provided verbally either face to face, over the phone or in email correspondence which is rarely reconciled to the client’s file.

iiCon warns that very few brokers have centralised records that capture, collate and manage data in a way that allows for analysis and management information across all written forms of communication, including email correspondence.

Even fewer have the capacity to record, store and analyse client conversations.

With the FSA suggesting around a third of brokers still require improvements to their systems, iiCon warns time is fast running out for those who do not wish to fall foul of the TCF regulation.

Ross McAdam, director of iiCon; “The FSA is leaving no doubt as to the importance of TCF in their eyes. In the past, for most brokers the ability to store all client contact was unrealistic.

“An average face to face consultation lasting two hours would typically require over 16 pages of typed text to record verbatim, and any subsequent phone queries would also need to be recorded.

“However, we are now seeing technology that can offer 100% data capture at a minimal cost. So much of the client contact now takes place away from the traditional face to face interview, brokers must ensure that they capture everything or else they are placing themselves at risk.”