The first year of the new FCA regulations has seen Alphera Financial
Services celebrate significant successes after it helped thousands of
companies across the country introduce transparent and fair business
Andy Gruber, director of the leading finance and insurance (F&I) solutions company, said being prepared for the changes that were introduced in April 2014 had enabled it to help more than 2,000 dealers and brokers implement FCA-compliant schemes.
“The first 12 months after the new regulations were introduced have shown that they are working well and that the motor finance sector is now far more transparent and customer focused,” he said.
“Customers and clients alike have welcomed the new approach because it is clearer and simpler. When the FCA took over from the OFT, there was a significant change in the approach to compliance, which meant brokers and dealers had to be more transparent with their customers.
“We’d already started working towards a fair and transparent system when the FCA regulations were announced, which put us in a strong position when it came to advising the industry on proving compliance and demonstrating that customers were being treated fairly at all stages.
“We have been really pleased with how the first year has gone and we are committed to continuing our work to ensure that everyone’s business model is compliant.”
The award-winning firm undertook a series of workshops, roadshows and webinars to help brokers and dealers understand the implications of the FCA changes, which saw more than 2,000 people sign up to get the expert advice they needed.
One of those adopting Alphera Financial Services’s business model was the family-run Richard Sanders Group, which operates six franchises in the Kettering and Northamptonshire area.
Ross Brandrick, group business manager, said its finance figures and KPIs had seen an improvement and it was expecting to see further development over 2015 and beyond.
“We’ve had a positive response to these changes from both customers and staff,” he said.
“The team enjoys the fact that our finance rates are open, honest and available for all to see. Our managers have had to get better at making the overall deal work for customers in different ways, rather than just dropping the finance rate, and this gives us all the incentive to be even more imaginative.
“The change in regulator sped up the evolution, however, we were heading in this direction anyway. Our decisions to review products and pricing alongside Alphera have paid dividends.”
HWM, which has been selling, servicing and providing parts for Aston Martin models for more than 60 years, is another firm that has benefitted from Alphera’s business model.
Although it already had in place transparent processes, HWM changed its record keeping, which shows more easily how it reached a finance decision with its customers.
Gruber concludes: “What has been important over the past year, is that the transparent pricing and commission model now ensures the best outcome for customers while enabling retailers and dealers to maintain their profit levels.
“The industry is in far better shape for the new regulations and we are pleased to have played our part in helping so many dealers and brokers.”
(Source - Alphera Press Release)