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Complaints Management Part 1

Learning from the mistakes of others is always much better than learning from your own.

The findings of a recent audit by the FSB of the current state of complaints handling by product providers is an excellent guide to smaller FSPs on how to handle complaints in their practices.

We intend running a series of articles based on the recently published Key Findings: Complaints Management Thematic Review by the FSB. The intention is to share the contents of this document, and how smaller FSPs can use the information to streamline their own complaints procedures.

Trends identified

Insurers who struggle with complaints management were hampered by a lack of one or more of the following:

  • a centralised complaints register to enable regular and accurate trend analyses;
  • trained and experienced staff that were dedicated to complaints management and with the necessary expertise in relation to both complaints management and the insurer’s business;
  • an appropriate delegation of authority to the complaints handling function to make independent and fair decisions, without interference from operational areas or budgetary conflicts;
  • management taking an active interest and role in complaints management;
  • the use of management information reports to track the feedback given on complaints and the re-occurrence of complaints by the same complainant as an indication whether the first call resolution strategy is effective;
  • quality checks and/or audits of the complaints management process, including the quality of complaints analysis and resolution; and
  • a complaints management process that includes complaints handled or escalated to outsourced entities, and specifically to binder holders and intermediaries.
  • The effectiveness of systems for complaints management and consolidated record keeping.

The sheer scale of complaints received by a major product house versus a smaller FSP will obviously necessitate different approaches. The two most important aspects from the latter’s perspective is how you handled it, and whether you took remedial action to prevent a re-occurrence of the problem.

Next week we look at specific findings, and what you can learn from them.

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