FCA boosts call centre staff after missing response target

Telephone-Phone-Business-Finance-General-700.jpgThe FCA missed its own targets to respond to emails and letters from firms and will employ a part-time telephone team to help with demand.

The FCA today published its service standards report for the period April 2015 to March 2016 that rates the regulator’s performance on areas including authorisations, communication and complaints.

The regulator set itself a target of responding to 90 per cent of emails from firms within two working days and 90 per cent of letters within five working days.

But it responded to 72.7 per cent of emails and 74.6 per cent of letters within that timeframe.

On the email target, the report says: “The firm correspondence team entered the period with a backlog of queries, which prevented service levels being achieved in April and May 2015. We met service levels in the eight of the following 10 months despite contact volumes for the year being 20 per cent higher than last year.”

Over the 12-month period, the FCA received 15,828 emails from firms and 1,344 letters.

The regulator added it is hiring a part-time telephone team to handle high volumes of calls it experienced last year with several new regulations being introduced at the same time.

It says: “We missed the [email] service standard in February 2016 due to a high volume of telephone calls, requiring us to balance our available resource across the email and telephone channels.”

The FCA also missed its target of answering 80 per cent of calls to its call centre within 20 seconds. It answered 66.9 per cent of calls within that timeframe.

The regulator said it received high volumes of calls about consumer credit authorisations, the senior managers regime, the mortgage credit directive and the Gabriel system.

Financial Services Compensation Scheme fees also generated a lot of queries after the levy was increased.