However strong your systems and controls, policy and procedures a culture that is not driven by the importance of suitable customer outcomes may undermine all your efforts and intent. Reward should be centred around long term client solutions rather than short term sales, leaders should be seen to put suitable customer outcomes first and the whole organisation should value the professional expertise of their advisers, focusing on professional development and continuous improvement. Increasingly, regulators are recognising that advice culture can be the most important enabler or blocker of quality outcomes for clients and are making real efforts to assess this in their audits.
Enterprise Learning has teamed up with customer culture benchmarking experts Learnership Ltd. to produce the UK’s first major benchmarking tool specifically designed to assess your Advice culture. Our online survey tool gathers your staffs and advisers views and can provide detailed breakdowns of your cultural strengths and weaknesses against criteria including risk awareness, customer focus, continuous improvement and focus on advice quality. We can then help you and your managers analyse the messages in your benchmarking, compare with other firms and set realistic targets and action plans to improve. You can use our benchmarking tool on an annual basis to show regulators how you are tracking your advice culture and responding to issues raised.
Click here to find out more about the Risk Culture benchmarking tool and to try it out or download the information sheet below.
We can also provide education/training for your leaders and Approved Persons to help them understand regulatory expectations, risk management and how they can drive the right culture.
- The importance of ensuring clients receive suitable outcomes, and are treated fairly is at the heart of strategy and leadership behaviour.
- Reward supports the drive for suitable client outcomes, and the impact of reward on behaviours, consequences and outcomes is thoroughly considered.
- Management prioritise the expertise of the advisers and promote training and development for all levels which supports this.
- Continuous improvement is demonstrated as important, with a focus on learning lessons and making changes to support advice quality.
- Leadership demonstrates an inappropriate and aggressive focus on sales, targets and rewards.
- Senior management does not support back office or control functions in adhering to standards or requiring improvements.
- Senior management does not have a strong understanding of regulatory expectations.
- Training is seen as a minimalist, compliance requirement.
- Reward systems prioritise sales rather than the quality of advice.