Source: Insurance Age | 23 Jul 2015
Tags: FCA | complaint handling
Firms will have more time to resolve complaints, but can't charge customers premium rates for phone calls.
Financial services firms will have longer to resolve complaints less formally, according to new rules published by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
The regulator also published new rules on call charges, stating that financial services firms will be unable to charge their customers premium rates when they make phone calls to ask for assistance or to complain.
According to the FCA, firms will now have three days to address a complaint to a consumer's satisfaction, allowing them to resolve more complaints first time rather than trying to meet the current one day target.
The regulator said that the increased time will allow for better and easier resolution for a greater number of complaints and added that it expects this change to result in fewer consumers having to take their complaints further.
If a complaint is resolved within three days firms will be required to inform the complainant of their right to take their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
It further stated that consumers will have access to more data on complaints made to financial services companies as firms will be required to report all complaints to the FCA. Under the current rules, firms only need to report complaints that take longer than one day to resolve.
Christopher Woolard, director of strategy and competition at the FCA, said: "Our rules will help deliver the quicker, easier and fairer resolution to complaints that consumers want. Getting this right is also vital for firms.
"A properly resolved complaint can keep a customer happy, and protect the firm's reputation. But, more than that, effective complaints handling systems can act as an early warning system for firms."