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FCA says banks’ complaint handling ‘isn’t working’

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FCA director of mortgages and consumer lending Linda Woodall

The Financial Conduct Authority is planning a thematic review of complaint handling in banks, building societies and insurers, placing greater onus on the role of senior management.

In a speech at a Building Societies Association event on Tuesday, FCA director of mortgages and consumer lending Linda Woodall said “something isn’t working” in the  complaint-handling process. 

She said: “The amount of complaints that go to the ombudsman suggests that something isn’t working in the way firms manage and investigate customers’ complaints.

“So … we are going to undertake a thematic review of complaint handling and management in major firms, including building societies. The review will identify why complaint handling is not working well for some consumers and address any poor practice within firms. 

“We will use our new assessment approach to place greater onus on ‘senior persons’ to understand how effective their firm’s complaint-handling process is and how they use the complaints experience to identify and correct the systemic causes behind customers’ complaints.”

Woodall said the thematic review will be conducted in two phases and the FCA expects to publish recommendations in the second quarter of 2014.

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