A new Financial Protection Panel of independent experts and industry representatives has been formed by TrustMark, the Government Endorsed Quality scheme, to assess the financial protection available to consumers looking to undertake any home improvements, repairs, maintenance or energy efficiencies in or around the home.
The panel aims to provide reassurance to consumers that if they employ a TrustMark Registered Business they will have the correct financial protection mechanisms in place, such as insurance backed guarantees and warranties, that will protect prepayments, deposits, post completion workmanship, rectification of defects or major damage and non-compliance with Building Regulations as a minimum.
Chaired by TrustMark’s non-executive Finance Protection director, Lynn Hugo, the Finance Protection Panel is a working group that consists of two layers – the ‘Finance Protection Oversight Panel’ and the ‘Industry Assessment Panel’. Together the collaboration will bring together a wealth of knowledge, proficiency and views to ensure that the financial protection stage of the consumer journey is safer and there are no gaps in the provision of consumer protection.
The Finance Protection Oversight Panel is made up of well-respected senior industry experts in regulation, insurance, finance, consumer protection and legal and they will appraise and validate the different financial protection policies from the TrustMark Scheme Providers to ensure they are providing fair terms without consumer detriment and abide by the Consumer Rights Act 2015. Supporting this panel will be the Industry Assessment Panel, which is a representation of TrustMark Scheme Providers, and they will review and focus on each of the financial provider policies to ensure they are all offering a robust and impartial method of financial protection for use within their schemes.
Hugo, said: “The Financial Protection Panel is a collaborative approach from the industry to provide the consumer with optimal protection for any work they choose to have carried out by a TrustMark Registered Business. We will only accept financial protection schemes that have been through rigorous approval and meet the TrustMark Framework Requirements and appropriate standard of financial protection. We have a fantastic team who are committed to enhancing consumer protection, and by working together, we can ensure that the consumer journey is as safe and secure as possible. Consumer protection is at the heart of TrustMark’s vision and service delivery, so this is one important step to achieving this.”
A register of verified financial protection schemes will be published by TrustMark and be publicly available for both consumers and businesses on the TrustMark website under ‘Services’ heading. All works carried out in and around the home will have financial protection as required by the Framework Operating Requirements including all energy efficiency improvements, and have a duration cover of a minimum of two years, with the exception of certain energy efficient measures that will require a minimum of 25 years.
The Financial Protection Panel is one of three councils being developed to support the TrustMark Board with the strategic direction of the organisation, as well as providing strong collaborations and developments to serve the industry and consumer.