FCA updates its statement on firms’ complaints handling during pandemic

3rd August 2020

The Financial Conduct Authority has clarified how firms should handle complaints in the light of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. The updated statement builds on one published at the beginning of May 2020 and includes some additions and revisions to reflect the ongoing pandemic. Members may access the statement by clicking here.

The FCA said that it considered that firms have had enough time to embed new ways of working into their businesses, and accordingly, a failure to comply with complaint handling requirements, should only arise in exceptional circumstances connected to the impact of coronavirus.

The statement confirms that the FCA expects firms to prioritise complaints from vulnerable consumers and from micro-enterprises and small businesses who are likely to face serious financial difficulties if their complaint is not resolved promptly and fairly.

The regulator has also made clear in the statement that it expects firms to co-operate fully with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) when complaints are referred to it. This includes ensuring that requests from the FOS for information and evidence are dealt with promptly, and that any awards made to the customer are met in a timely manner.

The FCA will review the statement again at the end of October 2020.

BIBA members’ compliance and regulation queries should be directed to: [email protected].