FCA complaints data – a response

6th Oct 2016

As the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) prepares to publish data on complaints later this week, figures released by The Institute of Customer Service reveal that the insurance sector has generated fewer problems for its customers than any other sector in the UK.  However, the banking sector has seen a slight rise in the number of customers with a complaint.

Data, from the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (UKCSI) - a survey of over 10,000 UK consumers – reveals that 7.8% of insurance customers experienced a problem over the past year, down from 8.9% the year before.  In contrast, banking customer grievances in banking rose from 9% to 10% in the same timeframe.  In addition, the ‘customer effort score’ which outlines how much energy consumers need to exert to secure a resolution, has also increased for both banking and insurance.

Jo Causon, CEO at The Institute for Customer Service says: “No one should need reminding that dealing with complaints effectively is business critical in terms of reputation and a great source of information from which to develop. However, it appears that getting it right, first time, is still a challenge for too many organisations in the financial services sector,  with our research listing just four banks in the UK’s top 50 organisations for customer satisfaction.

“Despite moves to engender competition amongst financial institutions, nearly a quarter of people are also failing to report problems because they don’t believe anything will come of their complaint.  With challenger brands emerging as powerful contenders in a difficult marketplace, this level of customer despondency should be a huge wake up call for many financial institutions.  If they are to secure a return on investment for their customer service strategy, greater attention needs to be paid to developing the skills staff need to deliver the ultimate customer experience.”

The UKCSI data goes on to reveal that the initial response to complaints from banks and insurance companies saw just 16% of employees take responsibility for resolving the problem.  In both sectors more than 1 in 5 made excuses or seemed uninterested in helping.

Causon concludes: “We don’t live in a perfect world and there will always be times when things go wrong.  A key ingredient of success is, however, in how these situations are handled.  As switching becomes easier and more natural for consumers, those banks that are first to the table when it comes to delivering excellent customer service will reap the rewards by taking market share from competitors.  That’s why the UKCSI highlights that investment in staff training and complaint handling are areas that could make a significant difference to banks’ customer service performance and, therefore, their bottom line.”

Ends
 
Notes to editors
For further information please contact: 
Helen Glover or Mike Petrook (Institute press office)
E: [email protected] or [email protected] 
T: 020 7260 2698 (Helen) or 020 7260 2631 (Mike)

Ellie Scott, Bethan Davies or Rebecca Stevenson
E: [email protected] 
T: 020 7010 0831 (Ellie Scott), 0207 010 851 (Bethan Davies), 020 7010 0810 (Rebecca Stevenson)

About The Institute of Customer Service
The Institute of Customer Service is the professional body for customer service delivering tangible benefit to organisations and individuals so that our customers can improve their customers’ experience and their own business performance.  The Institute is a membership body with a community of over 500 organisational members – from the private, public and third sectors – and over 4,000 individual memberships.  For more information about the Institute of Customer Service go to www.instituteofcustomerservice.com.

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