FCA-regulated firms to have more time to handle customer complaints

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) today issued a Policy Statement, specifying the new rules for complaints handling for financial services firms.

The new rules will apply to FCA-regulated firms in the UK, as well as to their branches in the EEA and the EEA firms that offer their services in the UK.

Next business day rule

  • This rule, which gives firms time to solve a complaint until the end of the next business day after the receipt, will change. Firms will now be given three business days to handle complaints, a deadline which enables companies to respond more effectively, especially when a third party is involved.

Detailed reports

  • Firms will have to report all of the complaints to the FCA. Previously, the firms were exempted from reporting complaints that were tackled before the end of the next business day.
  • The FCA will then make the data about the complaints public. The new reporting requirements will apply to firms that get fewer than 500 complaints within a reporting period.

Call charges

  • The revised rules limit the cost of calls consumers make to firms, including all post-contractual calls and all complaints calls, to a maximum ‘basic rate’.
  • For the purposes of the call charges rule, the basic rate is the simple cost of connection and must not provide the firm with a contribution to its costs or revenues.

The rules about complaints handling and reporting come into force on June 30, 2016, whereas the new rules for call charges will be implemented from October 26, 2015.

To view the detailed final rules on complaints handling, click here.

A summary by the FCA is available, if you click here.

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