News: Mortgage lenders must monitor fairness

Tue, 29 May 07

Mortgage lenders must monitor their sales to ensure that advisers are targeting their products to the right consumers...

Speaking at the Building Society Association's annual conference, FSA head of retail Clive Briault said that lenders should monitor sales under treating customers fairly rules.

"I stress that we are not talking about 'policing' individual distributors," said Briault. "But we do expect societies to monitor sales at a high level."

He added: "If you design a product you expect to be suitable for 10,000 consumers and you end up selling 50,000, please think about whether they have been correctly sold before you crack open the champagne."

Fairness for life, not just at sale

Financial providers need to ensure that they embed fairness rules over the life of their products and not just at the point of sale, he said.

While praising the association's commitment to fair treatment, detailed in its annual review, he added that there was still room for improvement in assessing performance.

"A few months ago the chief executive of a major retail group explained to me in detail how his firm was putting customers at the top of firm's agenda.

"But when I asked how the firm measured the success of its initiative there was a long silence. I take the view that if something really matters to a firm then it will measure it."



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