Complaints handling information access for consumers

The Financial Services Authority ??? FSA, has come out with proposals to enable individuals to view how the complaints are handled by the firms. Details like the number of complaints opened, resolved and other information of products and services offered by the insurance providers would also be made available.

The reports of the insurance sector may be published twice a year (at an interval of 6 months) and meanwhile intermediaries and insurers are free to publish their respective data with regards to the complaints.

This step is expected to educate people on the frequency and nature of complaints and also be aware of how these are handled. Data on how much percentage of complaints are closed in eight weeks, how many complaints are upheld would also be available. In addition, the industry standards may increase as firms would be given incentives for dealing with complaints more effectively.

The information would be available for different sector separately ??? investments, home finance, banking, life and pensions, general insurance and pure protection. The firms are expected to come up with contextual information for people to understand the vast data provided and also compare the complaint handling of different firms.

Some of the insurers who were tired of allegations of poor track records with regard to complaint handling are welcome to this proposal while some sectors like banking fought against the idea.