MPs have stepped in over “troubling” concerns surrounding the way the Financial Conduct Authority handles complaints from consumers.
The Treasury committee revealed its chairman, Mel Stride, had written to the regulator and its watchdog, the Complaints Commissioner, addressing a growing number of complaints about the FCA.
It follows a recent decision published by the Complaints Commissioner in which he warned of “serious delays and poor complaints handling” at the regulator.
Mr Stride said: “The complaints scheme requires that those who complain to the FCA should be provided with timescales, their complaint should be dealt with by people with sufficient seniority and their complaint should be resolved as swiftly as possible with the aim of satisfying the complainant.
“Whilst it is troubling that the commissioner has stated that these requirements are not currently being met in some of the cases that reach him, he has also noted that the FCA is making genuine attempts to address these complaints-handling problems.”
Mr Stride said whilst it was “welcome” that the regulator had committed to addressing the issues, it had not yet solved the problems.
He added: “The Treasury committee will expect to see real progress from the FCA in this area and will be seeking regular updates including in our evidence sessions with the FCA.”
In a letter to Treasury committee chairman Mr Stride, FCA chairman Charles Randell said the regulator was “absolutely committed” to implementing changes to address complaint delays.
Mr Randell said: “I would like to start by confirming that we accept the commissioner’s criticism raised in the above case and the wider comments he has made in his response to you around the levels of service and quality of complaints handling.
“Whilst the majority of complainants do receive timely and adequate responses to their complaints, it is unacceptable that some complainants have experienced significant delays in the handling of their complaints or received inadequate responses.
“We have acknowledged that significant and prompt improvement is necessary to address this, and ensure this situation does not recur.”
The Treasury committee and commissioner credited the FCA for “genuine efforts” to address the issues within its complaints team and its watchdog is expected to provide an update on progress in this year’s annual report.