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Compliance Tip of the Week: Dealing with complaints


It is perfectly normal to feel upset, angry and defensive when a client accuses you of incompetence and even worse.

A natural response is to cover up the feelings of hurt and conceal the problem from your colleagues, your PI insurers and your regulators.

Nothing could be more dangerous. Firms do not need the regulator visiting, their insurers denying coverage and the Ombudsman taking a dim view of their processes.

Never be angry with a complainant. You will make the problem three times worse.

Always respond without aggression or unnecessary adjectives and adverbs. Your approach should be calm and matter of fact. Do not try to sound like a lawyer. Most good lawyers do not talk or write like that anyway.

Aim to be as friendly and helpful to the complainant as possible to retain control of the situation.

Adam Samuel is an independent compliance consultant



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