Senior managers are continuing to block the development of the treating customers fairly (TCF) principle despite repeated warnings from the regulator, the FSA said this week.

Regulated firms have until March 2007 to demonstrate they have begun implementing the initiative in a significant part of their business. But this week the FSA said up to a third of senior managers were yet to start the process.

A survey of attendees at the FSA's treating customers fairly conference showed that of the 400 people questioned 33% saw senior management as the biggest barrier to implementing TCF.

A further 22% of respondents, however, said their firms were actively embedding the initiative.

But, warned the FSA, evidence from the watchdog's thematic work on payment protection insurance and recent enforcement cases had proved "there is still much to be done".

Clive Briault, FSA managing director of retail markets, said: "We want firms and their senior management to drive through and demonstrate achievement of the six TCF outcomes."

He added: "We want to maintain and increase momentum to deliver the consumer outcomes through the firms we regulate, by regulating those firms in a more principle-based way."