Customers don't think they are being treated fairly, says a new survey. Andrew Holt reports

While the FSA puts so much emphasis on TCF, financial companies - including insurance companies - are failing in their obligation to treat customers fairly. Latest research reveals that only a third (36%) of customers feel they are treated fairly by financial services companies.

High street banks and building societies performed better than other institutions, according to the Engagement and Influence Index compiled by financial services marketing agency Teamspirit. These organisations received a respective 53% and 56% of public confidence that they were treating their customers fairly. Insurance companies though received only 34%.

Although poor, it was not as bad as other areas of business. Only one in 10 (11%) of the people surveyed thought loan companies treated them fairly, and a few more (15%) said the same about investment firms.

Following last year's FSA guidance paper on TCF, Teamspirit chose to investigate public perception of whether customers receive proper treatment from brands right across the industry.

The results show that many financial services companies may be under-prepared for the new TCF legislation to be introduced in March, according to Teamspirit managing director Jo Parker.

"Our results show that businesses may need to do more to ensure they are meeting the standards set out in TCF," she says.

"We asked the public if they felt fairly treated by different areas of financial services, and the top scorers in the industry were the building societies with 56%.

"It's a little worrying that no one scored higher than that. March is only two months away and the industry needs to ensure it is ready for the new legislation."

The Teamspirit Index gave the following results:
• 56% of the public think they are treated fairly by building societies

• 53% for high street banks

• 44% for supermarkets

• 35% for direct/online banks

• 34% for insurance companies

• 31% for credit card companies

• 15% for investment companies

• 11% for loan companies.