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SimplyBiz: It’s all Greek to me

He was set a laborious task (usually involving slaying one terrifying beast or another), nailed it and was then widely celebrated as a conquering hero, feted around Greece and rewarded with wine, women and mosaics. If you’re looking for a mythological character to represent the experience of being FCA regulated (and aren’t we all?), then you should give poor old Sisyphus a go. Punished by the gods, Sisyphus spent eternity pushing a boulder up a mountain every day, only to wake the next day to find it back down at the bottom. Or even Prometheus; having offended the gods, this unfortunate fellow had his intestine gnawed out every night by an eagle, only to wake up fully healed again the next day to go through the whole thing again.

I’m not just trying to give you nightmares with these gruesome tales, the point towards which I am labouring is that sometimes the really tricky tasks are those which have to be carried out over and over again with seemingly no thanks or recognition. A little bit, you could say, like the responsibilities required for you under regulation by the FCA. More is being asked for from you than ever before; even if your business was highly successful and compliant in OFT times, you’ve still been asked to produce many, many times more information, reports, processes and documentation than previously. 

Based on the views of the companies and brokers I’ve spoken to over the past year, you’ve accepted this change because you believe in your firm, the importance of the services you offer and the FCA’s underlying objective: to create a market for consumers which is both clearer and more fair. Since the switch in regulator, over 1,400 consumer credit firms have either withdrawn their application or been rejected by the FCA. Given that Tracey McDermott, Acting Chief Executive of the FCA, stated in April that 40 firms had been refused authorisation, we are left with a huge amount of firms who felt unable, or unwilling, to comply with the regulator’s requirements. While some of these firms appeared unable or unwilling to raise standards and knew that the FCA would sniff them out immediately, others would have been reputable firms who were simply unable to continue to function in this regulatory environment. Bad news for the owners and employees of these firms, but maybe worse news for the thousands of consumers who were left without a source of credit or guidance. So, while you may not be the toast of ancient Greece, or depicted on the sides of urns, I hope it gives you a slight feeling of heroism that you have survived the cull in the move in regulator, and continue to push that boulder up the mountain every day for the benefit of your customers.

Working with the SimplyBiz Group can help you to ensure that you don’t have to fight the good fight on your own. Our specialist team keeps up with all the changes in the industry so that you don’t have to do it all yourself. The SimplyBiz Group has 14 years of experience in this area, and that’s just one of the reasons why we have been able to partner with a number of associations to ensure that their members are in the best possible position to flourish through the provision of business and compliance support services. If you want help adapting to FCA regulation or simply to spend more time with your clients ensuring that you still keep compliant on an ongoing basis, please get in touch with the team on 01484 443 424

Attributed to David Golder, Managing Director, Consumer Credit Centre, SimplyBiz Group

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