Q: I am laying down my firm's complaints-handling procedure. What are the main points I should consider?
A: Last week's answer covered some of the core aspects of the incoming complaints regime and the relevant FSA Handbook sections (DISP). Under these rules, firms will have to maintain a system that ensures:
Complaints are dealt with by an individual who was not involved with the cause of the complaint, and is sufficiently senior within the firm (unless a sole trader).
The individual responsible for writing the firm's final response to a complainant has sufficient authority to do so.
The firm's response sufficiently addresses the subject of the claim and, if upheld, offers appropriate redress.
In addition to these points, firms must take reasonable steps to ensure all employees who participate in the mortgage advice and arrangement process are aware of internal complaint handling procedures. Firms should also ensure their complaints processes are sufficient to deal with cases 'fairly, consistently and promptly'.