It was announced a while back, that The Financial Conduct Authority were taking over the regulation of the financial services industry in the UK.
What is FCA compliance?
The Financial Conduct Authority aims to make markets work well so consumers get a fair deal. The FCA wants to ensure:
- consumers get financial services and products that meet their needs, from firms they can trust
- markets and financial systems are sound, stable and resilient, with transparent pricing information
- firms compete effectively, with the interests of their customers and the integrity of the market at the heart of how they run their businesses.
Those Leasing companies already trading had to complete a lengthy application process to obtain an Interim Licence, just to carry on trading.
In total contrast to what you may imagine, there was no industry backlash.
In fact, many leasing companies welcomed the FCA’s intervention and despite the lengthy and costly submission process, there is a general feeling that the changes under the FCA will be very positive for small businesses, SMEs and leasing companies.
Before now, the internet has been a largely unregulated place from an Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) perspective and increased competition from internet leasing companies has gradually led to misleading advertising practices.
The leasing company/broker marketplace was so crowded, that finding the right deal could be a real minefield.
Arguably, there is such a thing as too much choice and customers have often found it difficult to determine how advertised deals differ.
Paul Mason, Managing Director of PMH Vehicle Equipment Limited said: “When I searched the internet for my latest vehicle, I was astounded at the many deals I found online.
“What I was particularly concerned with was the sheer amount of offers that seemed to differ so wildly.
“When I telephoned to enquire about some of the very cheap deals, I often didn’t get a clear explanation and in the end, I got fed up and just went to my main dealer. I probably did pay more, but I trusted them and I knew that what they were quoting me was what I would pay.”