You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do

If there’s one thing in life that’s certain, apart from death and taxes, it’s that that quote by Benjamin Franklin will be used at least once a week by someone writing about financial services.

However, it’s different Franklin quote entirely that’s been playing on my mind this week: “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” 

The consumer credit market has put in so much work and come so far over the past 16 months in order to improve, where necessary, its processes and practices with a more rigorous regulatory framework than it has previously known. The obvious reason for this is to fulfil the requirements of the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), however, there is a less tangible benefit, which is to improve the reputation of a financial sector which has often been judged by its lowest, and least ethical, common denominator. We all know that there were organisations which were operating practices that were at best unconscionable and, at worst, illegal. Ironically, these are not the firms who have undertaken the work and ongoing maintenance of adhering to the rules of the regulator. They have either been wound up or are seeing for how long they can drag out an extremely high-stakes game of hide and seek with the FCA.

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