Treating Customers Fairly Policy

1.0 Policy

The Debt Counsellors Charitable Trust (TDC) aims to ensure that clients are the overall focus of the services we provide. TDC aims to deliver the highest standards of information, advice and support in the most user friendly, reliable and efficient way. TDC sees the commitment to treating our clients fairly as a vital element in our approach and as such endeavours to meet client’s expectation of the highest possible standards.

TDC has centred its Treating Customers Fairly policy (TCF) around the guidance provided by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure that we are consistent in delivering fair outcomes to all of our clients. This also supports TDC to take full responsibility at all personnel levels to ensure TDC continues to develop a culture of transparency and openness.

It is key to note that TDC is a Not For Profit Company and is a registered charity.

2.0 FCA (FSA) key Themes

The FSA has outlined six key themes (Printed in the July 2006 publication, Treating Customers Fairly – towards fair outcomes for consumers) which are central to the TCF initiative:

2.1 Consumers should be confident that they are dealing with firms where treating customers fairly is embedded in the corporate culture;
2.2 Services marketed and sold are done so with the aim that they meet the needs of client and are targeted accordingly;
2.3 Consumers should be provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the service provision;
2.4 Where advice is provided, it takes into account a client’s individual circumstances;
2.5 The service provided is of an acceptable standard;
2.6 Consumers do not face unreasonable barriers to make a complaint;

3.0 TDC’s service approach to embedding these principles

3.1 TDC ascertain if it is appropriate for our advice specialists to deliver information, advice or support requested to all new clients before providing a service. This is with the intention of ensuring any service given is in line with TDC’s knowledge and expertise.

3.2 TDC carries out the necessary conflict of interest checks in respect of all new clients (Please refer to the TDC Conflict of Interest Policy for further detail). Should there be an identified conflict of interest the client is made aware of this with immediate effect.

3.3 TDC make it an essential business practice to continually understand the needs of our clients.

3.4 TDC keep all clients fully informed throughout their engagement with the organisation, purposefully maintaining an open and unambiguous level of communication.

3.5 TDC understands that each client is individual and as such TDC seeks to fully understand the client’s specific circumstances in order to tailor the support and advice delivered.

3.6 TDC endeavours to detail any risk of which the client may become involved in should they engage in our services. Any risk to the client identified will be highlighted at the earliest possible moment and full client comprehension will be assured.

3.7 TDC ensures the service delivered is robust and user friendly, maintaining transparency at all times. Jargon laden explanations and technical definitions are avoided or fully explained where required.

3.8 TDC ensures that all personal have the essential knowledge and expertise to be able to provide a fully comprehensive and effective service. Ongoing training and development is a key aspect of ensuring that clients receive their expected outcomes.

3.9 TDC operates an easily accessible and clear complaints procedure which is available through speaking to members of TDC staff or via the TDC website (please see the TDC Complaints procedure for further information).

3.10 TDC employs salaried staff and does not operate any type of employee bonus structure.

TDC’s approach to delivery

TDC’s overarching focus is to provide clients with a quality service which advocates client choice and control.

The service is continually shaped and improved by listening to our clients’ needs and understanding what is important to them. This is service TDC offer is further refined by use of customer survey forms sent to all clients whose case has been closed. TDC take responsibility for not only understanding our client’s needs, but for meeting their needs as well.

TDC will always ensure that the highest quality of service is delivered to our clients and that treating customers fairly is at the forefront of our culture and values. In order to do this TDC recognises that full engagement of all employees is essential and that training and development is critical to a positive client experience.

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