Changes to Complaints Handling Rules Effective 30/06/2016

Firms are entitled to handle some complaints less formally and without sending a final response letter. Such complaints would typically be of an administrative nature, rather than where the suitability of advice is being questioned.

Up until 30/06/2016, such complaints had to be resolved within one business day and no formal communication was required. 

However, from 30th June 2016, such complaints must be resolved by the close of business on the third business day following the date of receipt of the complaint. (Consider the date of receipt as being day zero and you have business days 1-3 to deal with the complaint).

You must also send a Summary Resolution Communication to the complainant, effectively a brief letter stating that, as far as the firm is concerned, the complaint is resolved. However, this must include the complainant’s right to refer to FOS if not satisfied.

Furthermore, firms must report all complaints to the FCA, including those handled within three business days. Complaints reporting will now be required twice a year.

Even though these complaints can be treated less formally, you should still keep good records of conversations and documentation involved in case the same complainant revives the complaint at a later date.

PI insurers should be notified. 

Important Note: ATEB news is intended to provide general information ONLY. The content, including any views expressed or guidance provided, does not replace the need to comply fully with FCA Rules and Guidance. Unless you have discussed news article content with ATEB, and specifically how it relates to your circumstances, then ATEB disclaims all liability and responsibility and actions arising from any reliance placed upon it. For the avoidance of doubt therefore, any reliance you place on such information without our consultation is at your own risk.

ATEB Compliance offers compliance and regulatory advice.

ATEB Suitability provides report writing software for the financial services market.

Our View

This is a rule change that must be actioned. 

Action Required By You

  • Change procedures;
  • implement a 3 day complaint resolution letter (ATEB clients should refer to the ATEB template in the Member’s Area of our website);
  • Inform/train staff.

For reference, see previous ATEB newsletter.

 ATEB clients should speak with their account manager as necessary.

About the Author

Technical Manager - Often referred to as the Oracle or the Sage, Alistair has a wealth of financial services experience. He is our go-to Technical Manager and enjoys nothing more than a complicated conundrum. Feel free to test his renowned knowledge by getting in touch.

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