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Treating customers fairly policy

Introduction

The Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) initiative is primarily based on the obligation set out in Principle 6 requiring a firm to pay due regard to the interests of its clients and treat them fairly. Optima is fully committed to TCF and this Policy has been designed to demonstrate the application of TCF during the course of our day to day activities.

TCF is embedded throughout the FCA’s Handbook and Optima supports the TCF initiative and satisfies the FCA’s six core consumer outcomes which explain what it wants TCF to achieve for consumers. These are:

  • Consumers can be confident they are dealing with firms where TCF is central to the corporate culture.
  • Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified consumer groups and targeted accordingly.
  • Consumers are provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale.
  • Where consumers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances.
  • Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect and the associated service is both of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect.
  • Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint.

Our TCF mission statement

We will act with integrity in everything that we do and aim to be in partnership with our clients.

Our TCF principles

  • Customers will be provided with clear information and kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale.
  • If we give advice to our customers, the advice will be suitable and take account of their circumstances.
  • Our level of service and product performance will meet the expectations of our customers as far as reasonably possible.
  • We will ensure that there is no barrier for customers to express their requests, concerns or complaints, and will always be responsive to them.
  • Products and services will be designed to meet the needs of clients.

Assessing and implementing our TCF principles

Marketing

All Optima’s financial promotions and marketing literature are reviewed to ensure that they are appropriate for the target audience and are presented in a clear, fair and not misleading manner.

Sales, advice, management

When providing advice, Optima’s advisers obtain a detailed understanding of the clients’ needs and objectives, their current level of expertise so that their recommendations are suitable. We ensure that our clients understand what is involved with any service or product offered and are aware of all applicable charges.

Post-sale information and support

Optima always strives to keep its clients informed. Appropriate records are provided as required and on an ongoing basis. We have appropriate capacity and processing arrangements in place to ensure continuous support and no post-sale barriers.

Policies and procedures

Optima have a number of policies and procedures that are relevant to the fair treatment of clients and also achieve adherence to FCA requirements, these are detailed within the general Terms & Conditions. https://www.optima-it.co.uk/page/terms/.

Management information

Optima produces MI in order to assess its performance against TCF principles. We ensure that MI is accurate, timely, consistent and relevant in order to assist the business in making informed decisions in the best interests of our clients. Optima produces MI reports which are reviewed regularly by senior managers, directors and board members in various committee meetings.

Awareness/training

Optima ensures that all advisers and staff are familiar with the fundamental principles of TCF. In addition, where applicable, advisers and staff are trained in order to suitably advise on and efficiently explain and provide our products and services. We undertake regular monitoring and assessment of our advisers and staff so that we can be certain of their competence.

Compliance

Optima regularly monitors all key areas of regulatory compliance including TCF.

Complaints

Optima aims to provide excellent customer service and complaint handling is a major component of its TCF measures. We deal with customer complaints fairly and objectively and attempt to put things right as quickly as possible, in accordance with the rules laid down by the FCA. All complaints are recorded, monitored and analysed in company MI and committee meetings.

Conclusion

Optima’s culture is in line with the outcomes stipulated by the FCA’s TCF initiative. However, we frequently review our policies, procedures and practices to ensure that TCF remains a crucial part of our business.

We ask our clients to provide us feedback, sometimes formally through customer surveys, so that we can improve our service. The information we collate from our clients can be reflected in company MI and reviewed by senior managers, directors and board members to help shape any strategic decisions.

01/09/2019

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