Changes in UK Regulation Create New Revenue Opportunities

Resellers with customers in the financial services sector have an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue and create new sales as a result of strict new rules introduced by the FSA and OFT

Mortgage, Loan and Insurance providers, for example, can now lose their trading licence if they do not meet tough new quality standards – and provide evidence of transactions.

The new laws aim to address consumer protection and business process / quality of service issues, which presents financial service providers with a range of compliance challenges. The new regulations have created a growing demand for solutions – such as call recording and call logging – that monitor and provide evidence of financial transactions and quality of service.

New rules laid out by the UK Office of Fair Trading (OFT) raise the bar in terms of industry compliance. Following implementation of the new licensing provisions by the Consumer Credit Act 2006 on 6 April 2008, a service provider must now submit a Credit Competence Plan as part of its application and should expect to be subjected to an on-site visit as part of the assessment of its competence.

From April 2008, providers can have specific requirements imposed on them if the OFT is dissatisfied with any matter in connection with the business. If such a requirement is not complied with, the business concerned could be subject to a financial penalty of up to £50,000. The OFT can also refuse or revoke a licence if it decides that a trader is not fit to hold one.

“The key point for financial service providers is that the FSA or OFT (indeed any watchdog or industry governing body) can come knocking at your door and it is the provider’s responsibility to be able to demonstrate that they have treated their customers fairly. What better way than the use of Liquid Voice call recording,” says Duncan Turner, Head of Group IT, MoneyPlus Group.

With its eye firmly on the current economic climate, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has laid down new rules to ensure that consumers are treated fairly during transactions. Recent FSA ‘Quality of Advice’ investigations found weaknesses in key areas of firms’ advice processes. The regulator is now seeking to ensure firms make improvements in these areas and, to date, is disappointed with its findings.

“This means greater oversight by the FSA across the industry; more inspections and audits – and a greater need for compliance among providers,” says Chris Berry, director of Liquid Voice. “This represents a major opportunity for resellers to provide powerful, proven solutions to practical and commercial business needs as well as the many compliance issues”.

“Compliance with FSA, Data and Consumer Protection rules is becoming a core issue throughout the whole industry”, says Martyn Cranfield, Head of Telecoms and The Towergate Partnership, a financial services provider with 120 branches across UK. “We have found that an integrated call recording/logging solution delivers clear and powerful operational and commercial benefits, as well as addressing all new compliance issues”.

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