Financial sector failing to meet new quality management standard


13 June 2003

Competition in financial sector could be weakened if companies don't meet ISO 9001:2000 requirements

Regulatory pressures from the Banking Standard Board and the FSA to encourage higher standards of practice for the benefit of customers could be eased by updating to the new international quality management standard says leading certification body, BSI Management Systems.

BSI estimates that only 18% of the 950 financial businesses that hold the old ISO 9001 certificates have transferred to the much improved ISO 9001:2000.

Companies that fail to transfer before the December 2003 deadline may miss out on the clear benefits of ISO 9001:2000 including the potential cost savings and reduction in red tape that the standard brings. Accounting and insurance companies for example could also face problems meeting the quality requirements of major customers, many of which will specify that suppliers must meet the updated ISO 9001:2000 standard.

The International Organisation for Standards (ISO) regularly updates all standards. ISO 9001:2000 was created after feedback from UK business illustrated the shortcomings of the old standard, introduced in 1994. ISO 9001:2000 has four distinct new benefits:

less red tape - companies will find it easier to show that they meet the requirements of the updated standard

focus on customer satisfaction - the updated standard helps companies ensure that customer satisfaction is central to their operation, making them more competitive

more flexible - the updated standard is more flexible, enabling companies to run quality management systems the way that is most relevant to them

Focus on continual improvement - based on the proven cycle of Plan, Do, Check and Act. 
Errol Taylor of BSI Management Systems, says:

"All standards are updated periodically to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of business and deliver real benefits. As businesses evolve, standards must also evolve and ISO 9001 is no exception. The standard was changed to benefit those companies certified to it; it is less bureaucratic than the old standard and focuses more on customer satisfaction. The updated standard will be of real benefit to companies in the financial sector but they risk missing out if they don't transfer from the old standard."

The main difference between the old and the updated standard involves the manner in which management systems are to be implemented. ISO 9001/2/3:1994 required that a company met its requirements by showing that it undertook a set of distinct activities to safeguard quality. ISO 9001:2000 however encourages that these systems are interactive and provide feedback, for example :

  • Under ISO 9001/2/3:1994 a company did not need to show that it had a customer complaints/comments system 
  • Under ISO 9001:2000 it has to show that not only does it have a system to record comments but that these comments are fed back in and acted upon, helping to improve overall quality of the product or service and increase customer satisfaction. 
    Companies requiring further information should contact BSI Management Systems Helpdesk on 020 8996 7720.

- Ends -

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BSI Group

Founded in 1901 the BSI Group is a leading global provider of professional services to organisations worldwide. In 2002 the Group's turnover was £233 million ($370 million).

BSI works closely with its clients, providing a range of services that help them achieve their strategic objectives. BSI services include:

  • Development of private, national and international standards
  • Technical information
  • Training
  • Independent Certification of Management Systems and Products
  • Product testing
  • Commodity inspection

The BSI Group's businesses are:

  • British Standards: the world's leading provider of standards covering every aspect of the modern economy from protection of intellectual property to technical specifications for personal protective equipment. A founding member of ISO (see below), British Standards is based in London, UK and has extensive relationships with National standards Bodies throughout the world.
  • Management Systems: provides independent certification of management systems, including ISO 9001:2000 (Quality) ISO 14001 Environmental Management, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Verification and BS 7799 (Information Security). Management Systems' HQ is in London, UK with regional HQs in Reston, USA and Hong Kong, PRC. Following the 2002 purchase of the North American systems assessment business of KPMG, BSI is now the largest management systems certification company in the USA.
  • Business Information: exists to raise awareness and understanding of new standards through publications and training. It provides a comprehensive range of books, manuals, CD-ROMs and on-line services.
  • Product Services: the owner of the Kitemark brand, first registered as the British Standards mark in 1903. BSI Product Services HQ is in Hemel Hempstead, UK
  • Inspectorate: the global inspection and analysis company joined the BSI Group in 1998. Inspectorate's main offices are in Witham, UK and Houston, Texas. .

International Standards Organisation

What is ISO?

The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies from more than 140 countries.

ISO is a non-governmental organisation established in 1947. The mission of ISO is to promote the development of standardisation and related activities in the world with a view to facilitating the international exchange of goods and services, and to developing co-operation in the spheres of intellectual, scientific, technological and economic activity.

ISO's work results in international agreements that are published as International Standards.

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