The way complaints against the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are handled is set to change.  The FCA, Prudential Regulation Authority and Bank of England have launched a review into their complaints procedures as a result of new legislation.

All three regulators operate complaints schemes, which have been running since April 2013, to investigate complaints against them.  Now, changes to the Financial Services Act require the Complaints Commissioner to produce an annual report on the regulators’ investigations.

The report will include details of trends in complaints and provide recommendations about how the regulators should respond to these trends.  It will also report on the effectiveness of each regulators’ procedures for handling complaints.

According to the FCA, each regulator must respond to recommendations or criticisms made in the Commissioner’s report. Responses must be published and sent to the Complaints Commissioner and the Treasury. The Treasury in turn must lay the annual report and any responses before Parliament.

James Burgoyne, Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professional Risks believes the changes will lead to greater consistency in claims handling by the regulators. “When complaints are made about Financial Advisers, they are expected to respond quickly and effectively or risk being referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service.  It is good to see that the regulators will be expected to achieve similar high standards of complaints handling. I expect this consultation will help to improve the speed and quality of complaints resolution by the regulators.”

The FCA has published the consultation paper on its website.  FT Adviser and law firm Norton Rose Fulbright have reported on the proposals.