The proposals for amendments to the General Code of Conduct (GCoC), published in November 2017, expand substantially on the Regulator’s expectations in terms of how complaints are handled.
Exactly three years ago we published a three-part series on the outcome of a thematic review by the FSB on complaints handling, and how it envisages using complaints management as a diagnostic tool to measure a FSPs commitment to the fair treatment of clients.
If you took the trouble then to put in place some structure to address complaints, you were wise. The new proposals are going to demand a lot of work in this regard, both in terms of implementation and monitoring.
A “complaint” means an expression of dissatisfaction by a person to a provider or, to the knowledge of the provider, to the provider’s service supplier relating to a financial product or financial service provided or offered by that provider which indicates or alleges, regardless of whether such an expression of dissatisfaction is submitted together with or in relation to a client query, that –
- the provider or its service supplier has contravened or failed to comply with an agreement, a law, a rule, or a code of conduct which is binding on the provider or to which it subscribes;
- the provider or its service supplier’s maladministration or wilful or negligent action or failure to act, has caused the person harm, prejudice, distress or substantial inconvenience; or
- the provider or its service suppliers has treated the person unfairly;
Complaints Management Framework
Under this heading, the proposals list the following:
- Establishment of a complaints management framework
- Requirements for a complaints management framework
- Allocation of responsibilities
- Categorisation of complaints
- Complaints escalation and review process
- Decisions relating to complaints
- Record keeping, monitoring and analysis of complaints
- Communication with complainants
“But I have never had a complaint in my life?”
Jammer Jannie, this will not exempt you from implementing all of the above, especially if you still have nothing in place, as you should have.
Moonstone Compliance and Protector (for one-person businesses) clients will receive assistance in this regard once we know the final changes.