Treating Customers Fairly


The Financial Conduct Authority's Treating Customers Fairly initiative is aimed at helping customers fully understand the features, benefits, risks and costs of financial products. It's designed to minimise the sale of unsuitable products by encouraging best practice before, during and after a sale.

The FCA outlined 6 key outcomes it wants to see as a result of its TCF initiative:

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

At HFB Financial Planning we are committed to providing the highest standard of financial advice possible. As a firm we take very seriously the requirements of the FCA, in particular the requirement to treat our clients fairly. We strive to do this in all that we do.

We undertake that all of our actions will be guided by the principle that the interests of our clients are paramount.   Our systems and procedures are designed to place our clients at the heart of our business.

In our dealings with you:

  • We will be open and transparent in the way we deal with you.
  • We will place your interests above our own.
  • We will communicate clearly and without the use of jargon.
  • We will inform you of our charges before undertaking any work for you.
  • We will deal with any complaints promptly and fairly.
  • We will deal with you with the utmost honesty and integrity.

As examples of how the principles and guidelines mentioned above work in practice we set out below details of what you can expect from us.

When we give advice:

  • We will explain our advice process to you, so you understand what is involved before you incur any costs. We will issue a Terms of Business document and client agreement for you to sign that confirms our understanding of your objectives, future services required and our fees and commissions.
  • We will only recommend suitable products and services after gathering sufficient information about your circumstances. We will fully consider your objectives, needs, goals and attitude towards risk before making any recommendations. Our advice will always be in the best interest of our clients.
  • We will confirm our advice in writing and in clear concise terms. We will not ask you to decide whether to accept our advice until you have had the opportunity to read our advice letter/report and any other relevant documentation.
  • In the event that there is any conflict of interest between us and you, we will tell you as soon as we can after becoming aware of it.
  • We will keep comprehensive records of our dealings with you.
  • Where agreed between us, HFB Financial Planning (in our Terms of Business), we will review your investment and/or pension funds and other financial products and arrange a review meeting with you.

When we deal with you:

  • When you contact us we will be polite and courteous, all of our staff are trained in dealing with our clients and in treating them fairly.
  • When we write to you we will be clear and straightforward.
  • We will try not to use jargon and technical terms.
  • We will be happy to discuss or clarify any matter.
  • We will remunerate and incentivise our staff in ways that encourage them to deal with our clients fairly and impartially.
  • All of our staff are trained properly for their roles and are subject to an on-going Training and Competence Scheme.

When things go wrong:

  • If you complain about any aspect of our service then you can expect that your complaint will be dealt with professionally, impartially and in accordance with the rules laid down by our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
  • We are insured as required by the rules laid down by the FCA.
  • We will provide details of our complaints procedure on request.
  • We always welcome comments and observations about the way we deal with our clients and would encourage you to contact us if you have any comments on the way we deal with you.

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