FCA Compliance? It’s simple

  17 February 2014

If you were one of the 270-or so people who joined us for our FCA Webinar last Monday, thanks very much – and I hope you found it useful. It’s the first time we’ve actually hosted a webinar ourselves (though we have worked with our partners at MSXi on some) so it was a bit of a learning curve all round.

There is much debate in the industry about whether webinars will replace seminars as a way of learning about the issues that affect us all. The current view here at Auto Retail Network (and I emphasise ‘current’) is that there is room for both. Webinars seem to work well when there is a very specific topic that can be tackled in a relatively short period of time; seminars work better when there are issues where several points of view need to be heard.

And, of course, seminars will always be better for sharing and networking – which is really what Auto Retail Network is all about. Having said that, we were not short of questions from the ‘delegates’ to our webinar and we had to put some to one side for reply by e-mail. Apologies if we didn’t get to you.

Many of the questions related to the issue of commission disclosure which, as our panellists pointed out, isn’t changing under FCA regulation. The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) made it clear last year that you are expected to tell a customer if you are getting commission on a finance sale and, if they ask, you also have to tell them how much.

There is always a worry that auto retailers only focus on compliance when you have to – the rest of time you’re focused on selling cars. But the underlying principle behind the new regulation is simple. If you can answer ‘yes’ to the following two questions then you should have nothing to worry about:

  • * Am I giving this customer the most suitable advice?
  • * Am I treating this customer fairly?

Get that principle in place and the rest of it is just about getting the paperwork right!

Rupert Saunders

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