Handling complaints during the COVID-19 emergency

The FCA is aware that, as a result of the current health emergency, many firms are facing challenges in maintaining normal business processes, including dealing with consumer complaints. 

The FCA has issued a statement that clarifies the position on complaint handling in the current circumstances. The full statement can be read here. The key points are summarised below.

Key points
Firms should take all reasonable steps to ensure as much complaint handling as possible continues through staff working from home, where this can be done fairly and effectively.

Firms should prioritise: 

  • paying promptly complainants who have been offered redress and accepted that offer;
  • the prompt and fair resolution of complaints from:
    – consumers who are likely to be vulnerable to harm if their complaint is not
      resolved promptly and fairly, and
    – micro-enterprises and small businesses who are likely to face serious 
       financial difficulties if their complaint is not resolved promptly and fairly;
  • sending timely holding responses to those complainants, where their complaints cannot be resolved promptly.

If a firm cannot deliver these three priorities effectively, or sufficiently, through home working, then the FCA considers that it could be appropriate for the firm to maintain the minimal physical onsite presence needed to do so, provided that the site is configured for social distancing in line with Government guidelines.

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.

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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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