The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) helpline has failed to achieve its voluntary targets for servicing enquiries from firms after being hit by increased demand for help with consumer credit and AIFMD.
Performance figures released by the regulator in May showed its customer contact centre failed to hit its voluntary targets for handling enquiries from firms over the phone, by email and by letter.
The regulator has a target for abandoned calls - those where a firm hangs up before their query is answered - of no more than 5%. However, in the period April last year to March this year, 7.2% of cases went unanswered.
The FCA aims to answer 80% of calls within 20 seconds, but only managed to answer 61.8%.
Similarly, the FCA set a goal last July to respond to 90% of emails and letters from firms within two working days, but managed to respond to only 68.3% of emails and 77.7% of letters in that timeframe between July and March.
However, it did manage to answer 97% of written enquiries within 12 working days.
The regulator said it has seen higher volumes of firm enquiries driven by its taking over of the regulation of consumer credit and firms' transitioning from interim permissions to full authorisation.
It also received more enquiries relating to the more stringent reporting requirements under European directive AiFMD which went live in January 2015.
The regulator said it also changed its turnaround times for answering emails and letters from 12 days to five days, which had created a backlog adding to the delays.
The FCA fared better for consumers, where it hit all its targets in the last year.
Related reading: IFAs make up fifth of firms with consumer credit permissions
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