The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has made a number of recommendations changes to the ways firms handle consumer complaints, following a review of 15 financial firms.
In a working group made up of 15 major retail financial firms as well as five industry trade bodies, the FCA found that improvements were underway however improvements were still needed in implementing processes.
There were also found to be inconsistences in redress offered, and a narrow approach to identifying the underlying reasons for complaints, as well as weaknesses in management information
Recommendations were also made on how complaints processes could be improved as well as proposing changes to the current FCA rules:
• The non-reportable complaints rule will be removed so that all have to be reported to the FCA.
• The next business day rule will be extended so companies have more time to get consumers to accept their complaint has been resolved.
• The bi-annual Complaints Return will be reviewed to include more consumer-centric measures.
• Calls to dedicated complaints telephone lines will be charged at no more cost than the additional rate.
The review did not deal with PPI complaints, which have been addressed separately.
An FCA consultation on dispute resolution rules will follow this year.
Clive Adamson, director of supervision at the FCA, said: "Straightforward and effective complaints handling is an important aspect of how firms treat their customers. Correctly handled, they can help firms quickly deal with problems and keep their customers happy. Moreover, understanding the underlying reasons for complaints can help head off future problems.
"It's in everyone's interest to consider how to make complaints handling more effective; that's why it was important to us to work collaboratively with industry on this project and I would like to thank the firms for participating. Together we have identified improvements that should be made and firms will act on these findings. I hope those firms who weren't part of the review will consider the recommendations and take appropriate steps to deliver consistent outcomes for consumers."
‘Comprehensive, coordinated and comprehensive’
Amid COVID-19 chaos
Due to coronavirus
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme