Treating Customers Fairly

Policy

Capital Fleet Solutions Limited (CFS) and its subsidiaries, ensures that customers are at very heart of all that we do. We are fully committed to providing the highest standards of customer service and advice.

Where we have alluded to “Customers” in this policy, we refer to all Third Parties connected with the sale.

Our customers are our most valuable asset and our aim is to ensure we deliver a user-friendly, robust, reliable and cost-effective service to all concerned.

As a part of our overall approach we are fully committed to treating our clients fairly and as such we endeavour to meet their expectations of high quality service.

Our Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) policy is centred around the guidance provided by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to ensure we consistently deliver fair outcomes to our customers and take responsibility for both CFS as an organisation, and our staff (at all levels) providing an enhanced service quality to clients, based on a culture of openness and transparency.

As a business, we take the requirements of the FCA seriously, in particular, the requirement to treat customers fairly.

The FCA has outlined six key themes which are central to our TCF initiative:

  1. Customers should be confident that they are dealing with firms where treating customers fairly is embedded in the corporate culture.

  2. Services marketed and sold are done so with the aim that they meet the needs of customers and are targeted accordingly.

  3. Customers should be provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the service provision

  4. Where advice is provided, it takes into account a clients individual circumstances

  5. The service provided is of an acceptable standard

  6. Customers do not face unreasonable barriers to make a complaint

We have set out how we aim to ensure these principles are embedded in our approach to dealing with our clients.

Treating Customers Fairly is a core principle of our company and the way we conduct our business.

We are constantly striving to improve our service and develop new and innovative ways to communicate our services and new product information to all parties who may have had historic dealings with our firm or may have dealings with us in the future.

Central to our Treating Customers Fairly ethos is our commitment to providing clear and concise information, free of "jargon" and written in plain English.

The core principles of our “Treating Customers Fairly” Policy are as follows;

  1. CFS & its subsidiaries is an organisation which holds the fair treatment of our customers as central to our corporate culture.

  2. Products and services marketed and arranged in the leasing market are designed to meet the individual needs of our customers.

  3. Our customers are provided with clear information and are kept appropriately informed before, during and after the leasing finance has been arranged.

  4. Where we offer advice to our customers, the advice is suitable and takes account of their individual circumstances, having obtained an understanding of their requirements.

  5. Customers will not face unreasonable post-leasing arrangement barriers imposed to change products should it transpire they are not fit for purpose or are substandard, or make a complaint.

  6. We will ensure that any complaints or grievances are handled in a sympathetic, positive and professional manner and within a reasonable time-frame.

  7. CFS will ensure that members of staff are kept up to date with relevant training in relation to competence, data protection and other matters directly affecting the quality of service offered to customers.

  8. We will offer its staff regular training in the principles of TCF as and when appropriate, ensuring continuing professional development by encouraging reading of the trade press, FCA website, newsletters and dissemination of relevant information as and when it becomes available.

Our service

  1. We ascertain the appropriateness of the requested service for all new customers prior to accepting a deal, ensuring it is in line with their knowledge and experience.

  2. We continually aim to understand the needs of our customers.

  3. We aim to keep our clients fully informed in a clear and fair manner that is unambiguous and not misleading.

  4. We ensure our services are delivered with clarity and transparency and do not contain hidden conditions or rely on complex technical definitions.

  5. We will keep an accurate and comprehensive record of all our dealings with a customer, so that in the event of any dispute or discrepancy, we will be able to provide a full breakdown of interchanges between all parties.

  6. We make certain our clients understand the risks associated with our services at the outset of an instruction, where appropriate.

  7. We work hard to ensure that service and risk information remains clear and prominent at all times

  8. In the unlikely event that there is a conflict of interest, we will inform our customers as soon as possible once we become aware of it.

Our approach

  1. Our priority is to provide our clients with an excellent service underpinned by quality and choice.

  2. Our service is shaped by listening to our customers needs and understanding what is important to them. We take responsibility for meeting the needs of our customers and always look for ways to improve the quality of our service.

  3. We aim to treat our clients fairly and deliver high quality services which meet their expectations throughout their relationship with us.

  4. We recognise that our employees are critical to delivering a positive client experience and ensuring our customers are treated fairly. Our culture and values encourage and support our employees to deliver this.

  5. All of our employees are fully trained in dealing with our customers, and in treating them fairly. We remunerate and incentivise our employees to encourage them to deal with all customers fairly, and to continually find ways to improve.

  6. Complaints Handling

    1. We respond in a timely manner to our customers’ and prospective customers’ questions and queries, and address any issues or concerns promptly. All customer complaints are dealt with and escalated as appropriate and as required by us in order to meet our obligations to our customers. How we handle these is further detailed in our “Customer Complaints Procedure” policy document.

    2. Our policy is in line with the current guidance from the FCA and is in line with the principles of the FCA that “a firm must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly”.

    3. Senior management will pay attention to the outcomes of complaints, which can serve as an important source of intelligence about the health of our business and systems. We will investigate the root causes of complaints and obtain feedback from customers who have experienced our complaints process in order to improve the level of service that we provide.

    4. We will measure the length of time taken to deal with a complaint, the outcome, and the way in which the outcome is communicated to the customer in order to ensure that we are treating our customers fairly.

    Conduct of Business Requirements – Credit Broking

    FCA principle 6 requires CFS to pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly.

    Below are some examples of behaviour that CFS do not condone, which would be likely to contravene Principle 6. These include:

    • targeting customers with regulated credit agreements which are unsuitable for them, by virtue of their indebtedness, poor credit history, age health, disability or any other reason;

    • subjecting customers to high-pressure selling, aggressive or oppressive behaviour, or unfair coercion;

Suitability of our trading name

CFS do not trade under a name that could in some way be construed to be misleading our customers.

There have been a number of instances where organisations have traded under a name which is very closely aligned to a government backed organisation, this clearly has the potential for their customers to believe they are in fact dealing with that same organisation and a different name should be sought.

Credit Broking

At all times sales staff must:

  • Explain the key features of a regulated credit agreement to enable the customer to make an informed choice about the agreement they are entering in to.

  • Take reasonable steps to satisfy itself that a product it wishes to recommend to a customer is not unsuitable for the customer's needs and circumstances.

  • Advise a customer to read, and allow the customer sufficient opportunity to consider, the terms and conditions of a credit agreement or consumer hire agreement before entering into it.

  • When referring the customer to a third party which carries on regulated activities or to a claims management service or other services, obtain the customer consent before passing on any such details.

  • Make the client aware of how CFS uses the customer's personal data it collects, in a manner appropriate to the means of communication used.

  • Provide customer with a clear and simple method to cancel their consent for the processing of their personal data.

  • If a client requests so, CFS must be willing to disclose where the customer's personal data was obtained from.

  • Take reasonable steps not to pass a customer's personal data to a business which carries on a credit-related regulated activity but does not have permission for that activity.

CFS provide the majority of the information listed above in the form of documents which are downloadable from our websites.

Privacy/Data Protection

Upon sale & available from our websites, CFS have the use of customer Data/Data protection information an Initial Disclosure Document.

Use of Credit Reference Agencies

Where acting as a credit broker you are also acting as a negotiator and you must give the customer notice of the name and address of any Finance Company to which information has been sought.

Where acting as a credit brokerbut not a negotiator, you must within seven working days after receiving a request in writing from a customer provide:

  • The name and address of any Finance Company from which CFS has during those negotiations applied for information about the financial standing of the customer. and

  • The name and address of any Finance Company of which CFS has been informed about the financial standing of a customer.

This requirement only applies where the request from the customer is made by a within 28 days after the termination of any negotiations relating to the consumer credit agreement.

When proposing a customer for finance, CFS should not leave evidence of an application on a credit file where a customer is not yet ready to make an application. Where practicable, CFS will facilitate customer shopping around for credit by offering a 'quotation search' facility".

Unfair business practices: credit brokers

Quite simply CFS must not:

  • Make or cause to be made unsolicited calls to numbers entered on the register kept under regulation 25 or 26 of the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003 or to a customer who has notified CFS not to call the number being used to call.

There are however some exceptions to this rule:

Where CFS has obtained the contact details of a customer in the course of the sale or negotiations for the sale of a product or service to that said customer.

The direct marketing is in respect of CFS’s similar products and services only.

Where the customer has been given a simple means of refusing (free of charge, except for the cost of the transmission of the refusal) the use of the contact details for the purposes of such direct marketing, at the time that the details were initially collected and, where the customer did not initially refuse the use of the details, at the time of each subsequent communication; and

CFS has previously explained that the following calls or electronic communications would be sent or made or caused to be sent or made by CFS and following that explanation the customer consented for the time being to such calls or communications.

  • Make or cause to be made by means of an automated calling system (see paragraph (2)) a call to a customer, for the purposes of marketing, after CFS has received a request from the customer to stop doing so.

  • Send, or cause to be sent, an electronic communication for the purposes of marketing, after CFS has received a request from the customer to stop doing so.

  • Visit a customer at a time that is known to be, or reasonably likely to be, inconvenient or particularly undesirable to the customer.

  • Refuse to end a visit to a customer or to leave the customer's home, when requested to do so.

  • Unfairly request, suggest or direct a customer to make contact on a premium rate telephone number.

  • Conduct a telephone call with a customer who has called on a premium rate number for an unreasonable period.

  • Inappropriately offer a financial or other incentive or inducement to a customer to enter, immediately or quickly, into a credit agreement or consumer hire agreement to which this section applies.

  • Effect an introduction to a lender or an owner or to another credit broker, where CFS has considered whether the customer might meet the relevant lending or hiring criteria and it is or should be apparent to the company that the customer does not meet those criteria.

  • Suggest to a customer that an application for credit will be met in full when a lower amount may be offered; Secure more credit for a customer than was requested where the object of doing so is for, or can reasonably be concluded as having been for, the personal gain of CFS or of a person acting on its behalf, rather than in the best interests of the customer.

  • Give preference to the credit products of a particular lender where the object of doing so is for, or can reasonably be concluded as having been for, the personal gain of the company or of a person acting on its behalf, rather than in the best interests of the customer.

  • In relation to a payment protection product, pressurise the customer buy the product; or offer undue incentives to the customer to buy the product.

  • In relation to a product or service or other linked product or service to the credit agreement or consumer hire agreement (whether the service or product is optional or required as a condition of the credit agreement or consumer hire agreement discourage or prevent the customer from seeking or obtaining the product or service from another source.

  • Encourage a customer to enter into a credit agreement which is secured in any way, to which this section applies, to replace an unsecured credit agreement or to consolidate other debts where CFS knows, or ought reasonably to know, that it is not in the best interests of the customer.

  • Unfairly encourage a customer to increase, consolidate or refinance an existing debt to the extent that repayments under an agreement would be unsustainable for the customer.

  • Encourage a customer to take out additional credit or to extend the term of an existing credit agreement where to do so is, or is reasonably likely be, to the detriment of a customer.

  • Charge a fee to a customer for effecting an introduction (directly or indirectly) to a lender or owner which is different to that promised to the customer or promoted by CFS to the customer or which CFS is aware the customer is seeking; Unless the customer, after CFS has explained the reason for the difference in the fee, consents to such an introduction.

  • Take a fee from a customer's bank account without the customer's express authorisation to do so.

  • Unfairly pass a customer's personal data to a third party without obtaining the customer's consent to do so after having explained the reason for disclosing the data.

  • Unfairly pass a customer's personal data to a third party for a purpose other than that for which consent was sought and given.

Specific Guidance

CFS should not use a premium rate number for Customers who wish to complain or for calls that are likely to be more than 15 minutes.

CFS should disclose to a customer the amount, or likely amount, of any fee payable for its services as early as practicable in the company’s dealings with the customer. Any fees fee agreed with the customer should be disclosed in writing or in another durable medium.

When making an introduction to a lender of other third party, CFS will ensure that the customer's consent is preceded by a full explanation of the key features and key risks of the product to which the introduction applies.

CFS will at all times process a customer's personal data fairly and lawfully and only for specified purposes.While it may be possible to pass sensitive personal data in specified and limited circumstances to certain third parties without the customer's consent where a condition of the Data Protection Act 1998 is satisfied, CFS (other than where it is under a statutory obligation to pass personal data to a third party) will always seek the customer's consent before passing such personal data to a third party.

An example of where it is likely to be unfair for a credit broker in receipt of a customer's personal data to pass it to a third party, is where the personal data is passed on in return for a fee to a claims management firm, without the customer's consent.