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...July 12th seminar aims to help better equip businesses to deal with complaints...

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has made some significant changes to the rules on customer complaint handling which will begin to impact all FSA regulated businesses as early as September this year. But many are ill prepared for these new regulations argues (MMC). Its own research shows that 85pc of financial service firms do not have a specialist complaint handling system, thus greatly reducing their ability to cope effectively with the demands of these new FSA rule changes. In particular, the inability to produce better root cause analysis and robust management information required by the FSA to improve customer service will be a major threat to regulated financial service firms.

The confirmed new complaints handling rules announced by the FSA at the end of May are part of a package of measures intended to drive up standards within the financial services industry.

These new regulations include:

- the abolition of the ‘two-stage’ complaints handling rule to make sure firms resolve complaints fairly and do not dismiss them the first time round, thus requiring persistence from the customer to pursue the complaint;

- requiring firms to identify a senior individual responsible for all complaints handling;

- additional guidance to help firms understand the processes they might need in place to meet FSA requirements on root cause analysis; and

- further guidance requiring firms to take account of ombudsman decisions and previous customer complaints.

According to Andrew Aldred at MMC: “The abolition of the old "two stage process" will allow consumers faster and easier access to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). This means that current processes and infrastructure in financial services firms must be capable of comprehensively capturing complaint information at every customer touch-point and sufficient to address the complaint with the necessary quality, rigour and timeliness. However, our own research shows that 85pc of financial service firms do not have a specialist complaint handling system. These businesses are therefore exposing themselves to the risk of higher numbers of complaints going to Ombudsman with all the additional financial cost and increased damage to reputation. Should a company be referred to the FOS more than twice in any one year, the fines start at a hefty £500 per case referral.”

Lack of a specialist complaint handling system will also impact those senior executives tasked with the responsibility of overseeing all complaints handling.

In order to provide assistance to financial service firms, is organising a special seminar at the British Bankers' Association, Pinners Hall, 105-108 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1EX on Tuesday, July 12th, 2011 to provide a demonstration of best practice in complaints handling through the use of specialist software, including the effective capture and processing of complaints within a regulated market. The seminar will also contain a reporting workshop on how to produce actionable Management Information and Root Cause analysis to evidence a continual improvement process within an organisation. The seminar will be of interest to all senior management involved in complaints handling, as well as senior compliance managers and customer insight teams.

MMC is already enabling its FSA regulated customers to:

- ensure that their Customer Service staff have all the information and processes at hand to be able to cope with the single stage process.

- provide evidence to the FSA showing that they proactively seek, capture and action feedback and complaints in a standard, quality process.

- drill down and report on all feedback captured, not just ensuring that they have responded to their customers correctly, but also to understand the root cause analysis of their business issues and the financial impacts.

- quickly implement a quality solution that automates many manual processes ensuring their Customers are responded to accurately and within their company's SLAs.

About is the first specialist customer complaint and feedback management application delivered using the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. The cloud-based service enables organisations to capture, manage and analyse complaints and feedback to improve customer satisfaction, increase customer service efficiency, and drive business improvements.

Call now on 0845 5 211 777, or e-mail: for a free trial!

For further information:

Andrew Aldred
Marketing Manager
01932 250036

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Escherman in the following categories: Personal Finance, Business & Finance, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit