Treating Customers Fairly (TCF)

The principle of Treating Customers Fairly or “TCF” is laid out in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) sourcebook and must be supported by all regulated firms. It states that firms “must pay due regard to the interests of its customers and treat them fairly”.

The 6 Outcomes of Treating Customers Fairly

The FCA has outlined the 6 outcomes that it wishes firms to achieve as a result of the firms TCF practice.

They are;

  • Outcome 1 – Consumers can be confident that they are dealing with firms where the fair treatment of customers is central to the corporate culture
  • Outcome 2Products and services marketed and sold in the retail market are designed to meet the needs of identified consumer groups and are targeted accordingly
  • Outcome 3 – Consumers are provided with clear information and kept appropriately informed before, during and after the point of sale
  • Outcome 4 – Where consumers receive advice, the advice is suitable and takes account of their circumstances
  • Outcome 5 – Consumers are provided with products that perform as firms have led them to expect, and the associated service is of an acceptable standard and as they have been led to expect
  • Outcome 6 – Consumers do not face unreasonable post-sale barriers imposed by firms to change product, switch provider, submit a claim or make a complaint

Treating Customers Fairly and Customer Satisfaction.

These two are not necessarily related, it is possible that a satisfied customer has been treated unfairly and conversely that a dissatisfied customer has been treated fairly.

Conduct Risk

Business conduct is in a bright and unforgiving spotlight. TCF is not dead; it compliment the Conduct Risk agenda. Although much has been said about Conduct Risk from the regulatory perspective, less has been done to help firms address the issue coherently. In the absence of anything prescriptive from the regulator, firms need to define what conduct risk means for their business and determine how to take positive action to address this risk. While the primary driver for seeking the effective management of conduct risk is to secure commercial success, there are additional pressures stemming from the ever higher standards being demanded by regulators, both nationally and internationally.

How TCF affects the way we do business.

The FCA accepts that firms operate in different ways and there is no set standard for the way in which we operate. It is our responsibility that we review our practices constantly in order to ensure that we are supporting the principle of Treating Customers Fairly and are focussed on achieving the 6 outcomes.

The TCF principles are some of the more vague elements of FCA compliance but are nevertheless central to regulation for all sectors.

The principle is present in all areas of our dealings with customers and includes the products we provide. Our promotion and marketing practices, the sales process itself, the information we provide to customers and the way in which we handle our complaints.

Download our Infographic on Treating Customers Fairly, here or our FAQs on the same subject, here.

If you have any questions about TCF please contact us directly.

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