FCA Publishes Complaints Data for 2021 H2

The FCA has released its complaints data for 2021 H2, which covers the period 1 July to 31 December 2021.

Complaints data is published by the regulator every six months. There are two different types of data published: firm specific complaints data (including data from individual firms that have reported 500 or more complaints in a six month period, or 1,000 or more in a year) and aggregate (total) complaints data (including all the complaints that firms report to the FCA).

Below are the key findings from this period’s complaints data:

  • Financial services firms received 1.84m complaints, which was 10% lower than in 2021 H1 (2.04m) and is the lowest level recorded since 2016 H2.
  • The insurance and pure protection product group saw the largest decrease in complaints received by firms (from 890,000 complaints in 2021 H1 to 770,000 in 2021 H2). There were notable decreases in home finance complaints (14%), investments (29%) and decumulation and pensions (16%), and no product group saw an increase from 2021 H2.
  • The decrease in insurance and pure protection complaints was not driven by the drop in complaints about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI), unlike in previous returns. It was instead consistent across all products. Warranties was the exception which has increased by 18% from 44,329 to 52,091 (following an increase of 19% in 2021 H1).
  • ‘Current accounts’ remain the most complained about products. The number of complaints for current accounts increased 5% from 503,135 in 2021 H1 to 526,609 in 2021 H2. The second most complained about product is ‘other general insurance’ at 216,438 – though this was a 28% decrease from 297,652 in 2021 H1.

It’s important that firms have a clear understanding of complaints handling and a written complaints handling procedure should be in place, outlining how to report a complaint, who is responsible for complaints handling, timescales for dealing with complaints and how complaints will be recorded, monitored, and analysed.

As a reminder, the FCA defines a complaint in its Handbook under The Disputes Resolution Procedure (DISP). A complaint is defined as:

“Any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from, or on behalf of, a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service or a redress determination, which:

  • alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience;
  • relates to an activity of that respondent, or of any other respondent with whom that respondent has some connection in marketing or providing financial services or products, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service.”

An understanding of complaints handling is also one of the eight core knowledge requirements of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD). Therefore, it’s important that those involved in the insurance distribution chain can demonstrate the minimum necessary knowledge in dealing with complaints.

If you need any advice on complaints handling or other compliance issues, please contact your RWA Business Manager or email helpdesk@rwagroup.co.uk.

About the author

Kirk joined RWA in 2015, having worked in the financial services sector for many years. He started out in both the general insurance and mortgage advice arms of HSBC, before becoming the Compliance Officer at Go Compare and Training & Competence Manager at Optimum Credit. 

At RWA, Kirk is Deputy Head of Compliance. He supports RWA clients by looking after their compliance, training and competence needs and keeping them up to date with regulatory changes. He promotes the achievement of fair customer outcomes and specialises in designing and implementing T&C schemes for firms of all sizes.

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