Firms will have eight weeks to investigate and answer complaints,
according to new draft regulations set out by the FSA.
It is one of a range of rules governing complaints hand-ling by banks,
building societies, investment houses and insurance companies as well as
The rules come after a consultation on the proposals last autumn.
The FSA says the plans were given widespread support and come ahead of the
new integrated ombudsman service.
Director of consumer relations Christine Farnish says: “The recent
consultation has shown widespread support for the proposals among consumer
groups and across the financial services industry.
“Both consumers and firms themselves benefit from effective complaints
“Consumers get their problems resolved quickly and effectively and firms
rec-eive useful consumer feedback and achieve reputat-ional and commercial
benefits from enhanced consumer confidence.”
An ABI spokesman says: “We are disappointed that our proposal that small
businesses be omitted has been ignored. Previous research has shown that
there is no demand from this sector.”
Interested parties have until August 31 to respond to the new draft
All IFA-authorised firms will need to:
Publish complaints procedures and make them available to consumers.
Investigate claims within a maximum of eight weeks.
Keep records of all complaints for a minimum of six years.
Submit records to the FSA on the number and types of complaints and the
length of time taken to resolve them.
Inform consumers who remain dissatisfied at the end of the complaints
procedure of the new ombudsman service.