Martin Gilbert, head of compliance at Chrysalis Finance, discusses the ethical side of lending.
Consumer credit has been transformed over the years into a universally accepted way of providing goods and services. In fact, to realise just how far the cultural acceptance of credit has travelled one needs only to look at the increase in home ownership, which only came about with access to mortgage lending for everyone.
So with this evolution, why are some dentists still concerned with offering patient finance via a third party, and what happens when the desire for immediate indulgence intersects with the provision of a professional service?
Professional ethics encompasses the personal and business standards of behaviour expected from professionals. In dentistry, the General Dental Council (GDC) governs these and expected behaviour is laid out in the publication Standards for the Dental Team. This document does not specify any restrictions on patient financing arrangements but it does indicate the need for all pricing to be transparent and clearly communicated to patients.
Patient finance is in fact governed, like all other forms of consumer finance offered in the UK, by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), which has strict guidelines as to how financial products should be presented. All practices that offer any kind of credit or deferred payment scheme are governed by the Consumer Credit Act and must be authorised by the FCA. These rules apply to all businesses and individuals offering any form of consumer credit, even if treatment is on-going.
Knowing the rules and staying the right side of them is essential and this can cause problems for some dental professionals, who often have little experience in this area.
One of the services Chrysalis Finance offers removes these risks by providing the necessary administration for a practice to comply with financial regulations, and at the same time ensuring you have the confidence that your professional status will remain uncompromised.
The modern day, ‘one two three’ application process is handled completely online meaning practices can quickly and responsibly approve dental funding, and thereby increase take-up of higher value treatments. So once a patient has said ‘yes’ to treatment, you can say ‘yes’ to the funding in seconds – all in one appointment.
Chrysalis takes full responsibility for matters of compliance and ensures all promotional literature and website information conforms to financial laws, assuming all risks and responsibilities on behalf of its practices.
For more information visit Chrysalis Finance at the Dentistry Show 2015 stand E55 or if you are unable to attend please call 0333 32 32 230 or visit www.chrysalisfinance.com.