Daily Insurance Industry News
Daily Insurance Industry News
Saturday 20th of October 2018
May 28, 2011

FOS award limit upped alongside new complaints handling rules

by Gill Montia

Story link: FOS award limit upped alongside new complaints handling rules

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has confirmed an increase to the limit on awards made by the Financial Ombudsman Service, from £100,000 to £150,000.

The regulator has also confirmed new complaints handling rules which include:

The abolition of the “two-stage” complaints handling rule to make sure firms resolve complaints fairly and do not dismiss them the first time, requiring persistence from the customer to pursue the complaint;

Requiring firms to identify a senior individual responsible for complaints handling;

Additional guidance to help firms understand the processes they might need in place to meet FSA requirements on root cause analysis; and

Further guidance requiring firms to take account of ombudsman decisions and previous customer complaints.

The FSA’s director of conduct policy, Sheila Nicoll, says: ”Good complaints handling contributes to customer loyalty and should provide the opportunity for firms to put right problems in product design or sales before issues become widespread.”

She adds: “But we have found major failures with the way firms handle customer complaints and have since taken enforcement action against two firms as a result of poor complaints practices.”

Ms Nicoll’s last statement is witnessed by the £3.5 million fine handed down to Bank of Scotland earlier this week, while in April, Royal Bank of Scotland and Natwest were fined £2.8 million for multiple failings in the way they handled customers’ complaints.


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