CII to develop professional standards for provider call centres


The Chartered Insurance Institute is to develop professional standards for frontline provider staff fielding pension freedoms calls.

The CII says it is concerned there are “inconsistencies” in the way consumers are dealt with by call centre staff.

The professional body is carrying out an information gathering exercise with a number of providers to determine current standards.

CII director of financial services and insurance markets Steve Jenkins says: “Following the pension freedoms, many consumers will naturally go to their provider for guidance.

“Providers are taking very different approaches to this, which could result in hugely different customer outcomes.

“The reputation of financial services as a whole is often affected by the weakest link. We believe all staff should have a basic level of pensions knowledge, so regardless of who a consumer speaks to, they get someone who knows what they are talking about.”

Jenkins says the standards are likely to take the form of a voluntary charter which providers can sign up to.

A qualification for staff which tests both technical knowledge and soft skills is one option under consideration.

He says: “This is about holding up best practice to our members and driving standards up as an industry rather than waiting for the regulator to impose changes.”