The FCA has recently published the complaints figures for regulated firms for the first half of 2019.
There was an increase in complaints between the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019, with complaints rising from 3.91 million to 4.29 million.
However, this can be largely attributed to an increase in the amount of Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) complaints received throughout this period due to the PPI complaints deadline in August and the advertising campaigns that accompanied this. 49% of complaints received in first half of 2019 were related to PPI.
Non-PPI figures, on the other hand, showed a 6% drop between the second half of 2018 and the first half of 2019, from 2.32 million to 2.18 million.
According the FCA’s data, the most complained about products overall were PPI, current accounts, credit cards and motor and transport insurance.
Users of the Aviva Development Zone will be familiar with the Monthly Assessments which focus on variety of topics relevant to insurance brokers each month. The ‘Spotlight’ quiz focuses on different ‘hot topic’ each month and this month the focus is on complaints handling.
A sound understanding of complaints handling, according to FCA rules, is important as it is one of the eight core knowledge requirements under the IDD i.e. insurance intermediaries must “demonstrate the minimum necessary knowledge of complaints handling”. Therefore, those involved in the insurance distribution chain must demonstrate the necessary knowledge in complaints, proportionate to their individual role. The definition of a complaint, according to the FCA, is set out in their Handbook.
Complaints are something that most organisations will receive at some point – but they can be dealt with successfully, learned from and the same issues avoided in future. Knowing how to handle a complaint, and ensuring that all staff are trained in handling them, is key to this.
It is also worth bearing in mind that the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) comes into effect for insurance brokers on the 9th of December, aiming to improve conduct in financial services. SM&CR is intended to reduce harm to consumers and strengthen market integrity by enabling firms and regulators to hold people to account. Disclosing upheld complaints, for instance, is required under annual fitness and propriety under SM&CR.