The FCA has this week published a Policy Statement (PS15/19) explaining its response to the feedback received to the Complaints Handling consultation paper (CP14/30) issued in December last year. The Policy Statement also explains the new rules on complaints handling as well as rules limiting the cost of telephone calls which consumers make to firms. The key changes to the rules are as follows:

  • 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
  • revised rules limiting the cost of calls consumers make to firms to a maximum ‘basic rate’, including all post-contractual calls and all complaints calls
  • a new ‘complaints return’ which requires firms to send the FCA data twice a year on the number of complaints they receive.

The rules on extending the ‘next business day rule’, complaints reporting and requiring firms to send a summary resolution communication come into force on 30 June 2016. The rules on call charges come into force on 26 October 2015.

The Policy Statement can be read in full here.