Following publication of the Thematic Review paper last month the FCA has issued a Consultation Paper CP14_30 titled ‘Improving complaints handling’.
The proposals are intended to change the way we deal with complaints and how they are reported.
The FCA state ‘These proposed reforms will further improve the system, making it less bureaucratic for firms, easier for consumers and will provide us with improved intelligence on complaints.’
The proposed changes can be summarised as follows
- The deadline for complaints resolved quickly will be extended to three working days from the existing one;
- Respondent firms must write to customers if the complaint is resolved in three days advising them they consider the complaint to be resolved and FOS rights and website;
- Complainants will be able to refer their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service immediately after receiving a firm’s response rather than having to wait 8 weeks;
- All complaints will have to be reported to the FCA;
- Complaints return is to be amended and simplified for those firms with fewer than 500 complaints;
- Firms will have to analyse complaint data and report causes and categories to the FCA;
- This data will be published;
- Firms cannot use ‘premium rate’ numbers for complaints;
- The FCA is considering a 15 year ‘long stop’ on complaints to FOS.
All firms should be aware of the proposed changes and we encourage feedback to the FCA as requested in CP14_30.
The Consultation paper can be found here.