FCA gets tough on sales incentive programmes that promote mis-selling

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has followed up on guidance issued by the FSA in 2011 (which highlighted weaknesses in 20 of the financial institutions surveyed and further pointed to the importance of combining a sales incentive with optimum customer service) by imposing its biggest ever fine on Lloyds TSB, Halifax and Bank of Scotland for incentive fuelled mis-selling.

Martin Wheatley, chief executive of the FCA, said: “Eighteen months ago we gave the industry a wake-up call and it recognized that a poor incentive culture had helped push bad sales practice, which led to mis-selling.”

Tracey McDermott, the FCA’s Director of Enforcement and Financial Crime, commented: “The findings [of the latest study] do not make pleasant reading. Financial incentive schemes are an important indicator of what management values and a key influence on the culture of the organization, so they must be designed with the customer at the heart.”

The reason these schemes transgress the convention is simple – they were not structured correctly in the first place and could not motivate because a tool to measure key motivators did not exist. At Full Circle Motivation, they approach things differently.

  1. First, their ROI Calculator defines costs and outcomes prior to the incentive programme
  2. Next, Motivational Maps profiling of the sales team is a precursor to the incentive programme as motivation is crucial to profits and profit comes from people being productive (without overstepping the mark).
  3. Finally, a structured incentive programme tailored for UK or pan European salesforces and including but not limited to these key elements:
    1. Participant buy-in / consultation
    2. Dynamic theme (to carry the programme)
    3. Peer sales measurement and monitoring
    4. Distance learning and measurement
    5. Recognition, delivered through our online recognition vehicle
    6. And of course the most important element of all – communication

Full Circle claims to put ideas, words and pictures together to speak volumes about clients’ business. Furthermore, the incentives they run are designed to at least self-liquidate but in practice, incremental business usually runs at upwards of plus 13%.

Full Circle also claim that they are able to deliver programmes that motivate without excessive reward – just what the FCA ordered.