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ABI guidelines to shake up complaints’ process

The ABI has put together new guidelines on handling complaints in a bid to improve the industry’s treatment of consumers.

It wants to understand more about why cases end up at the Financial Ombudsman Service and what firms should be doing to handle cases better.

It says it has made an effort to get its guidelines, which it believes go well beyond what the FSA is requiring of firms, recognised at senior management level and not just complaint handler level.

It says the initiative shows that the industry is working together to improve its complaint-handling processes in a way that makes customers feel that they have been treated fairly.

The ABI says it does not want to stop people complaining but it does want to deal better with consumers who have something to complain about.

The guidelines consider all aspects of complaints’ handling from culture, recruitment and training and accessibility to compensation and responses.

Raising Standards director Martin Shaw says: “We are starting to see the FOS give the industry a little bit more credit about the way it is handling complaints. This is not to say it will not find fault in future but there are early signs of improvement, if only because we are being told we are less bad than other sectors.”

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