Treating customers fairly (TCF)
Commercial Trust is committed to treating all customers fairly. All marketing and advertising is clear, fair and not misleading. All customer data is kept secure at all times, and sensitive data is encrypted if transferred to, or from, third parties.
Commercial Trust lends responsibly, ensuring customers receive recommendations on mortgages and other products that are suitable and affordable to them. Any complaints are handled impartially and on their own merits.
Policy for treating customers fairly
Commercial Trust is committed to the principles of TCF. Customers need to feel confident that we see the fair treatment of customers as central to our culture and to the long-term success of our business.
We have translated this commitment into a series of themes, which underpin our operating model, systems and processes. The themes have been designed around the 'Customer Journey'.
Product design and governance
As a distributor of mortgages and non-investment insurance contracts, we have a responsibility to ensure that we work in conjunction with lenders and providers to offer products that focus on the needs and circumstances of the end consumer.
The design of products extends beyond the product itself to encompass the sales delivery method/distribution channel and more pertinently, the clarity and fairness of the supporting documentation. When assessing TCF in product design we consider the inherent risks and complexity of each product distributed.
Marketing and financial promotions
A central part of our approach to TCF is that all marketing materials/activities are clear, fair and not misleading. The fair treatment of customers is paramount throughout the whole sales process, ensuring the potential for misleading customers is eliminated.
We commit to ensuring that:
- We understand the expectation our marketing material sets in the minds of the customer
- We meet the expectation our marketing material sets in the minds of the customer
- We target known/understood customer groups with marketing that is appropriate for each audience
- We promote and reflect fair lending
- All marketing material, including advertising, mailshots and website material, is approved before issue.
Like any financial services organisation, we receive customer complaints. We ensure these complaints are addressed fairly and consistently.
Although the nature of complaints may vary, all complaints are considered with equal importance.
All complaints are reviewed as objectively as possible.
We aim to respond in full to all complaints within eight weeks from receipt. This is monitored and reported to Senior Management Team.
We aim to provide all communications with customers, whether oral or written, in a manner that is clear, fair and not misleading.
To this end, we are committed to:
- Informing customers of their rights and obligations
- Demonstrating appropriate timeliness in its dealings with customers and clearly informing them of applicable timeframes
- Obtaining sufficient information in order to understand our customers' needs
- Managing conflicts of interest, with a clear demonstration of impartiality
- Providing consistency for all customers in our business dealings
- Acting to the highest ethical standards at all times
- Acting with integrity
- Demonstrating a high level of flexibility in all customer dealings
- Providing information in 'Plain English' and minimising the use of industry jargon in both written and oral communications
- Measuring, maintaining and enhancing the commitment to fairness and demonstrating accountability in our actions
All our staff are salaried and are not paid either commission or bonus.
Some employees being partly rewarded on performance; where rewards are available to staff these are based on both results and behaviour (including full alignment with TCF). This is in line with the predominance of financial services organisations.
Commercial Trust does not reward any specific bias towards a certain lender or product.
A comprehensive Training and Competence programme is in force encompassing staff at all levels, including key senior management.
The on-going delivery of training and development ensures staff possess the necessary knowledge and skills to provide a service level that meets and surpasses the customer's expectations.
All staff are subject to initial training and are then managed to ensure they maintain levels of competence. In addition, each employee has a personal development plan, tailored to their individual needs.
A skills gap analysis is performed on key personnel to ensure that the required skills and knowledge are maintained, or provided for, at all times.
We are committed to supporting all staff in their career development.
Management information (MI)
We have comprehensive MI in place to monitor performance of each of our businesses.
Dedicated TCF MI is produced and reviewed on a monthly basis.
The TCF MI is not just numbers, it includes commentary and opinions to help provide a comprehensive and balanced view on each business.
We maintain strong relationships with our lender panel, working closely to ensure product ranges meet the needs of our customers.
We consider how the treatment of customers may be affected after any strategic change and we have a robust check and challenge procedure in place to sign off any operational strategic change.
A comprehensive data security policy has been established to ensure customer data is secure at all times. This means that any customer data that is transferred to third parties, is encrypted. We require the same of any partners transferring customer data to us.
No customer data is stored on the hard drives of laptops. All PCs are configured to prevent the uploading of unlicensed software, and USB ports are disabled so that memory sticks and other such devices cannot be used.
All telephone calls with customers are recorded automatically and are retrievable only with the permission of designated individuals. No member of staff is permitted to use mobile phones to communicate with customers.
If there are any aspects of our advice, products or service which you feel fall short of these commitments please let us know at TCF@CommercialTrust.co.uk