Are you Ready for New Complaints Rules and Regulatory Return?

The FCA’s new complaints-handling rules will come into force from 30 June 2016 and firms will have to submit a new complaints return for reporting periods starting from 30 June 2016.

By way of a quick recap, the FCA made the changes to the DISP rules after they found certain issues especially with regards to the following two areas where firms needed to improve the way the customer complaints are dealt with:

• Identifying all complaints, in particular, expressions of dissatisfaction which were considered less serious and were not always being treated as complaints. The FCA stated that all expressions of dissatisfaction which meet their definition of a complaint must be recorded and handled in line with the DISP sourcebook.

• The level of detail of firms’ root cause analysis – the FCA saw examples where root cause analysis was not carried out or conducted at too high level, or where actions taken did not relate to the issues identified. They see root cause analysis as the key to ensuring that firms identify and fix systemic problems in their processes.

The key changes to complaints rules are summarised below.

• Extending the ‘next business day rule’ (for complaints handled less formally by firms) to the close of three business days after the date of receipt
• Reporting all complaints in a new report format (including the informal complaints) via Gabriel
• Sending a ‘summary resolution communication’ for informal complaints, following the resolution by the close of the third business day after receipt

The new regulatory return for complaints has more information requirements than the current return. This has been done by the FCA to give them more detail about complaints and how they are handled by firms to help them (FCA) spot any concerns and support their supervisory priorities. The following link provides the policy statement which gives details of the new requirements including notes for compiling the new complaints return.

[Firms that require any assistance with new procedures, staff training or Gabriel returns may contact]