NEWS: Handle Emotive Issues With Care Warns Financial Services Training Expert

Helping staff stay on top of their regulatory and ethical responsibilities around such emotive issues as vulnerable customers and financial promotions must remain a priority for the financial services training industry.

That is the view of Simon Mercer, Unicorn Training ComplianceServe Product Manager, speaking ahead of the BCCA Annual Conference in Derbyshire on Friday (27 November).

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The BCCA is a leading trade association for the UK’s alternative lender market, and they have teamed up with Unicorn to offer online compliance training to their members for the first time, through Unicorn’s ComplianceServe training solution.

Last month BCCA CEO, Jason Wassell, revealed their relationships with vulnerable customers are part of “nearly every discussion” he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

vulnerablecustomers_nov15This followed the FCA’s challenge to firms to review their approach to consumer vulnerability, with some customers being confronted by a “computer says no” response when they seek assistance and support from firms.

Meanwhile, financial promotions for consumer credit are amongst the issues also under scrutiny from the regulators, with both a high-profile media and political focus on the advertisement of high cost, short- term credit products.

Simon will be on the Unicorn stand at the BCCA conference, speaking to delegates about their approaches to staff learning and development on these and other credit industry topics. He insists when staff lack the knowledge, empathy and ethics to deal with such issues effectively, the consequences go way beyond being purely financial.

FCA_VC_feb15“It only takes one bad news story to destroy a firm’s reputation; one customer who has been treated unfairly, one ad that is viewed as exploitative, appearing on the news or held to task by the consumer advice media.

“The regulator will make its own judgments on penalties and sanctions for companies found in breach of its standards, but realistically it can be public condemnation and PR impact that can prove more damaging long-term.

“Having a training approach where such issues are included as part of a firm’s wider ethical business culture, and not treated in isolation as a ‘tick box’ exercise to appease the regulators, can go a long way to avoiding such reputational damage.”

Earlier this year, Unicorn Training joined forces with FSTP to introduce the enhanced, sector-specific compliance learning solution, ComplianceServe, which includes integrated T&C guidance and CPD management.

FSTP_logo-2As two of the UK’s most prominent financial services training providers, this partnership brings a more targeted, streamlined approach to compliance, to help regulated firms embed the genuine cultural and behavioural change needed to deliver better outcomes for customers.

FSTP was recently named ‘Business Partnership of the Year 2015’ by the Debt Resolution Forum (DRF) and Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA), while in January Unicorn’s learning and performance platform, SkillsServe, was ranked top LMS for financial services, and fifth overall, in the global Top 50 LMS Report 2015.

Unicorn has been creating L&D and compliance solutions for the UK’s ever-changing financial services sector for over 25 years. FSTP provides first class training and consultancy services across all sectors of the financial services industry.

For more information about ComplianceServe visit www.unicorntraining.com/complianceserve and for further details about FSTP visit www.fstp.co.uk

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