We frequently receive enquiries about legislative changes, specifically regarding Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) and the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI). Some product providers have even requested advisors to sign TCF declarations.
As a guide to readers, I summarise below a recent internal memo to Moonstone Compliance Officers:
Treating Customers Fairly
The most important thing to understand is that TCF is nothing new. Section 2 of the General Code of Conduct (GCOC) has required fair treatment of clients for 10 years. For 95% of our clients TCF is simply going to mean that they require a policy which must be adhered to and a realisation by them that they will be measured to a higher standard. Even if they’ve done everything correctly, the question will remain whether the client was treated fairly – how they manage depends on their own processes. This is not something where a generic “cure-all” will or can exist.
We will provide a support service to our clients in respect of TCF. The service will entail the following:
- Policy documents
- Amendment to Risk Mitigation Plans to cater for TCF
- Compliance Officers will assist clients with implementation
Please remember that there is no “go-live” date for TCF.
Our Compliance Officers were requested to convey to their clients that, as always, Moonstone will provide them with appropriate solutions, delivered in an appropriate fashion and at the appropriate time. We should complete our first roll out by the middle of the year.
Protection of Personal Information Act
The same applies to POPI. We are well aware of the legislation and client expectations and as always we will assist, even though this does not form part of our service level agreement with our clients.
The POPI Act has not yet commenced – there is a 12 month implementation date from commencement, so we see no point in flooding the industry with templates which they don’t understand, or have been trained for.
As always, our clients will get everything they need, before they need it.
Those FSPs who, like Bruce Springsteen, “take care of their own” should not, in the light of the above, fold their hands and sit back. There is a self-help tool on the FSB website to test your TCF status. It will provide you with a fair idea of what is expected of you.
As far as POPI is concerned, I suggest you use Google to familiarise yourself with what will be required of you. Yesterday, I saw a draft of the notice we are preparing for our clients, which will be sent to them in due course. It is quite an extensive document which took time and expertise to compile.
As our quote of the week says – it is better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret