PS15/19: Improving complaints handling, feedback on CP14/30 and final rules

In this Policy Statement we report on the main issues arising from CP14/30 and publish the final rules.

Why are we issuing this Policy Statement?

In this Policy Statement we explain our new rules on complaints handling for financial services firms, as well as our rules limiting the cost of telephone calls which consumers make to firms, and respond to the feedback received to our consultation CP14/30 Improving complaints handling.

We confirm the following new requirements for firms:

  • extending the ‘next business day rule’, where firms are permitted to handle complaints less formally, without sending a final response letter, to the close of three business days after the date of receipt
  • reporting all complaints, including those handled by the close of three business days after the firm receives them
  • raising consumer awareness of the ombudsman service, by sending a ‘summary resolution communication’ following the resolution of complaints handled by the close of the third business day after receipt
  • new rules limiting the cost of calls consumers make to firms to a maximum ‘basic rate’, including all post-contractual calls and all complaints calls
  • our improved ‘complaints return’ which requires firms to send us data twice a year on the number of complaints they receive

Policy Statement 15/19 [PDF]

Who does this affect?

Our new rules affect firms across all financial services sectors. All FCA-regulated firms must have complaints-handling processes and follow our rules and guidance on how to respond promptly and fairly.

What are the next steps?

The rules set out in Appendix 1, on extending the ‘next business day rule’, complaints reporting and requiring firms to send a summary resolution communication, which are discussed in Chapters 2 and 4, come into force on 30 June 2016.

The rules on call charges, discussed in Chapter 3, come into force on 26 October 2015

Parts 4 and 7 of Annex C (DISP) of the instrument come into force on 23 July 2015. The amendment in Part 4 is guidance on the effect of section 234B of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 which concerns situations where liabilities have been transferred from one respondent to another.

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