Caledonia Consultancy's success is founded on the belief that regular, hands-on and personal face-to-face contact, matters more and has more effective outcomes for client firms and their customers than the availability of incidental financial offers or low cost "do it yourself" website downloads. Similarly the odd visit with a clipboard and check sheet, followed by a generic (adapted) report might make you feel good but teach you little and sudenly offer scant support when you face a regulatory visit.
None of these financial incentives matter if a firm fails an FCA visit and needs to re-document existing procedures or if the firm's executive has to write to retail clients explaining and rectifying identified failings. A few complaints, successfully defended or not, will add an instant financial burden of thousands of pounds to the firm's account, not to mention embarrassment and the possible long-term damage of the reputation of the firm and it's advisers and a possible future increase in the cost of PI cover.
Worst of all - none of these cost cutting financial incentives matters if a firm fails its customers.
Any perceived initial saving made in financial outlays or in invested time needed to cultivate an effective documentation system and approach can be wiped out if the firm's management allows itself to be lulled into a false sense of security.
Most compliance firms can identify compliance failures, but few support these observations with constructive and workable solutions involving all client staff, thereby achieving a culture change and a new and better future direction for the firm. Caledonia Consultancy can and does!
The regime operated by the FCA is based on being able to demonstrate how and why action was taken and how this outcome meets the principles set down in the FCA rule book. Being able to provide written evidence is of paramount importance to achieve this position. The regime now relied on by the FCA makes great use of online surveys - good system documentation and understanding allows easy completion, saves time and generate good feedback.
Equally important is the ability of Senior Managers to understand and be able to communicate how the business and its systems works. Being able to demonstrate control is the key and to delegate this responsibility down the chain is not an option.
Complaints handling is equally based on written evidence both demonstrating fairness in the process and documented reasoning based on file evidence for the outcome. In the past many firms have suffered at regulator's visits or when FOS adjudicators took client's unopposed verbal account as the only evidence available.
An important element of the success and the client loyalty Caledonia Consultancy enjoys is their attention to client's operational needs and their unique documentation system, which will be tailored to the individual client's operation.
Caledonia Consultancy maintains and renews documentation as and when required. They recognise that their clients' time should be spent with retail clients and that they do not have the time and resources to ensure that compliance documentation is up-to-date at any given time.
Caledonia Consultancy's documentation has evolved over the last 10 years as a reflection of FCA and both UK and European rule changes as well as to reflect changing FOS determination and court practices.
The documentation has been scrutinised on numerous occasions by the FCA at visits or deskbound inspection and found compliant. The latest of such evaluations was by the FCA while undertaking recent firm visits in respect of the 2011 TCF project and 2013 risk assessment survey. The FOS and others who had a particular interest have also evaluated the documentation.
Caledonia Consultancy's documentation continues to evolve and will therefore shape our clients' work habits to reflect and satisfy all the changing requirements.
Caledonia Consultancy's comprehensive and ongoing training ensures the client and their staff understands not only the mandatory elements built into the documentation but also, just as importantly, the defensive contractual aspects of following a systematic sales documentation.
Good business is business which stays on the book and can grow with altering circumstances of retail clients and when the market place changes. We assist you and your staff achieving this goal.
Apart from arranged regular visits, Caledonia Consultancy communicates regularly via phone or email with principals and clients' staff members regarding documentation requirements and with advisers on recommendation strategies or business generation. It is like having a second office manager and mentor on call.