Working with third parties is key Treating Customers Fairly challenge

18 January 2008

Working with third parties is a key challenge for financial services firms, according to a recent meeting of the Financial Services Discussion Club (FSDC). Attendees at the January session of the FSDC retail special interest groups noted that gathering TCF data on products sold through distributors was often difficult and in need of improvement in the coming year.

Retail firms and particularly asset managers, agreed that often only the third party firm had a complete understanding of which customers were buying specific products. Members felt that there was a need for the industry to vet distributors more thoroughly and demand more detailed sales data, particularly from fund supermarkets.

Naomi King, speaking on behalf of the FSDC said,

“The provider/distributor relationship has been an area of debate for a number of years and is a significant part of the FSA’s TCF agenda. With deadlines looming, this will continue to be a critical area for firms.”

The FSDC will be discussing ‘Distribution: Working with third parties’ at the next meetings for retail finance and asset managers, on 4th February in London. Topics on the agenda include:

• Imposing/regulating TCF standards
• Due diligence
• Monitoring sales and consistency
• Outsourcing: internal & external
• Call centres abroad: TCF compliance
• Data protection/data security
• Dealing with non-regulated third parties

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