On 31 July, the FCA updated its statement, first published on 1st May, clarifying how firms should handle complaints during the coronavirus crisis.
The FCA has re-published the statement with some additions and revisions including its expectation that delays responding to complaints should now only be as a result of exceptional coronavirus-related circumstances (as firms have now had enough time to embed new ways of working). Firms facing difficulties in complying with the timescales in DISP should contact the FCA.
The statement also confirms that senior managers continue to be accountable for overseeing how their firms handle complaints.Where firms are experiencing reduced complaint handling capacity, they are expected to prioritise paying complainants promptly if complainants have been offered redress (by the firm or awarded by the FOS) and accepted that offer.
The statement also reminds firms of their obligations to cooperate with the FOS on referred complaints.
The statement will be reviewed again by the end of October 2020.
We know that coronavirus (Covid-19) and the associated public health measures are causing many firms serious practical challenges, including in their operations dealing with consumer complaints.