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FSA aims to boost its service standards

The FSA is conducting a customer satisfaction questionnaire among firms to boost its service standards after meeting only 60 per cent of its service targets last year.

The regulator will survey about 450 firms and says about one-fifth will be IFAs. It has also adopted 11 new service standards which should see faster processing of appointed representative notifications and cancellation of authorisations.

The 60 per cent perform-ance figure, taken from the FSA’s annual Performance Account report, relates to whe-ther it completed specified procedures or responded to req-uests from individuals or consumers within a given time.

The FSA says it will use feedback from the questionnaire to decide the key service areas to target for improvement. Questions include views on ease of use of applications forms, the length of time that the process took and responsiveness of staff.

Spokeswoman Vanessa Wood says the quarterly questionnaire will be completely independent, with up to 450 firms questioned on the phone by an unnamed marketing agency. IFAs will make up about 20 per cent of the firms contacted for this quarter.

However, some IFAs have questioned the credibility of the questionnaire. One IFA, who did not want to be named, says: “No IFA will want to shoot itself in the foot by giving honest answers and risk the FSA coming down heavily on them on their next visit.”

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