Financial Services Board: Customer service policy rolls out

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Although some of the specific timelines in the Financial Services Board’s (FSB’s) Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) roadmap had been pushed backward, the regulator said nothing was stopping it from taking the policy into account in its supervisory role. It said it had started to assess the customer fairness outcomes of regulated financial firms. The FSB said regulated entities would start to see more of this during its on-site visits or when investigating specific business practices or complaints. Initially, the TCF policy was aimed to start at the beginning of the year. But some implementation timelines were shifted to align with the evolving twin peaks framework. The FSB said there would not be a once-off implementation date. Instead, the policy would be introduced on a gradual, incremental basis. Some companies have already begun carrying out customer surveys and reporting their assessments to the FSB. Absa on Friday reported to its customers that its 2014 TCF score was up 1.6 points from last year. Last week, the ombudsman for long-term insurance reported that firms paid out R343 741 as compensation to consumers for poor service last year. It expected more compensation to be awarded to consumers when the TCF regulations came into full effect. – Londiwe Buthelezi

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