In this matter the Registrar of Financial Services Providers was the Applicant against the Respondent which is a registered FSP regulated in terms of the FAIS Act. Talksure conducted business as a sales and marketing company relating to financial products.
Talksure concluded an agreement with Miway Insurance Limited (Miway) to provide them with real time leads of prospective clients. The leads would relate to quotations on short-term insurance products underwritten by Miway.
The problem arose when Talksure call centre agents used a script during tele-calls to prospective clients stating that they did a comparison of benefits of different insurance companies. Clients thus believed that they were receiving advice based on different quotations from different insurance companies which best suited their needs.
This was therefore misleading as it was not the case. Talksure was only a lead provider and transferred clients to Miway for quotations. There was no comparison or analysis done that was according to the clients’ needs.
This action by Talksure therefore breached the General Code of Conduct and they were fined R250 000.
This determination indicates that it is always the responsibility of the business to ensure that their staff are trained according to the laws and regulations governing that business industry. In this instance, Talksure had to rectify their wrongdoing by training all staff on Treating Customers Fairly (TCF) principles.
It is also important to ensure that communication with clients is not ambiguous which will lead to misrepresentation. TCF requires that clients are provided with clear information at all times so that they can make informed choices. Clients must therefore be able to understand the nature of the business relationship and be explained the content of any agreements (even verbal agreements) in clear and simple language.