(30 September 2010)

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has published today its proposed changes to the current rules on the handling of complaints within the industry. The agency aims to drive up the standards so that all complaints will be resolved promptly and fairly. Among its proposed amendments to the rules are requiring firms to identify a senior individual responsible for complaints handling; resolving complaints at the first instance rather than observing the current “two-stage” complaints handling rule; that a firm must perform root cause analysis of the complaints brought before it such that it can identify and remedy any recurrent or systemic problems, and can take action when appropriate; and, firms must take into account ombudsman decisions as well as the history of complaints, and learn from them.

FSA likewise published firm-specific complaints data in order to enable customers to compare and contrast the way different organizations have dealt with their complaints. This data is the first of its kind such that hassles can be avoided by the complainants and their questions on how should they go about filing their complaints can be best answered by the history of similar cases in the industry that can be found in the data.

The latest statistics of the aggregate complaints for the first half of 2010 can also be browsed through the data.

Lastly, in the same consultation paper, FSA proposes to increase the Financial Ombudsman Service’s limit on awards: from ₤100,000 to ₤150,000 to provide a fairer and more effective redress for customers.

(Source: http://www.fsa.gov.uk/pages/Library/Communication/PR/2010/151.shtml)

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