https://d37mp969nv9z6z.cloudfront.net/optimise_fsqs_1c2ab3b5ef.webp
FSQS: Why we are members and how it is useful
FSQS: Why we are members and how it is useful

FSQS: Why we are members and how it is useful

As the leading finance affiliate network in the UK, Optimise has seen, first hand, the impact of greater regulation for finance brands and the implications of onboarding new suppliers. Brands need to gain assurance that the suppliers they contract with maintain appropriate standards and have policies in place which are commensurate with their values, and the values of their customers. Furthermore, they need to gain assurance that suppliers manage data securely and are operationally resilient. Suppliers need to evidence that they can withstand both expected and unexpected events to maintain service levels, even in the extreme circumstances of market crashes, wars and pandemics.
Whilst our proposition for Partnership Marketing is based upon achieving growth and value for our clients within the context of regulatory framework, Optimise have developed operations, infrastructure and policies to deliver assurance to clients. Demonstrating this valuable information however can be extremely time hungry; and, unless managed appropriately, can delay the deployment of services. Over the past 15 years the level of due diligence which brands have necessarily had to apply has only become more extensive. Each brand has had to interpret the requirements and design the questions they should ask to demonstrate compliance. For suppliers this had meant that for each brand onboarded a hefty spreadsheet of questions - sometimes 200-300 long lands on a Sales Manager’s desk when they were hoping for a signed contract!
It was with welcome relief then that Optimise joined FSQS nearly 10 years ago. FSQS (Financial Services Qualification System) is a community of financial brands and institutions including banks, building societies, insurance companies and investment services, collaborating to agree a single standard for managing the increasing complexity of third and fourth-party information needed to demonstrate compliance with regulations, policies and governance controls. These companies have developed a single approach which makes theirs and suppliers lives far easier. The question sets have been carefully designed through market leading research and community participation so that once completed for one brand they may be used for all. Whilst brands may ask additional questions, this greatly reduces the administrative burden for onboarding.
The FSQS has been steadily growing over the years and from their first member (Lloyds Banking Group) they now number 56 organisations with more joining each month. The community is managed by Hellios who coordinate a proactive approach to evolve the question sets in response to ever changing (and expanding) regulatory requirements and who seek to add value to members by helping them source appropriate suppliers.
Optimise recognise that simply being a member of FSQS is not enough to achieve our goal of making life as easy as possible to engage and optimise the value of partnerships. In 2022 Optimise created the role of Risk & Compliance Manager to help both existing and new clients navigate the requirements and manage responses to new regulation such as the Consumer Duty introduced in July 2023.
Looking forward to 2024 and beyond, we know that Brand’s expectations for us to demonstrate compliance with the required standards, the need to satisfy Info Security audits and the ability to demonstrate operational resilience will only play a greater role on supplier assessment scorecards. Our FSQS membership, alongside our operational framework and internal resources provides brands with the elements they need to expedite onboarding processes so we may more readily help them optimise their Partnerships.