MSE News: FSA to name and shame complaint-heavy firms

This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Companies that receive 500 or more complaints in a six month period will have to publish the numbers twice yearly ..."


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  • edited 29 January 2010 at 1:43PM
    dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    edited 29 January 2010 at 1:43PM
    I am actually against this to a point the data cannot be taken in context.

    For example, two firms. One with 5 staff and one with 50,000 staff. Which one is more likely to be appear in the complaints name and shame list?

    The bigger the firm, the more complaints.

    Wouldnt the data be best put back in percentage terms perhaps on headcount or some other similar measure. For example, two IFA firms. One with 5 advisers, one with 10,000 advisers. The 10,000 advisers may have 500 complaints a year and the one with 5 advisers may have 5 complaints a year. The latter wont appear in the name and shame list but the former will. Yet the one being named and shamed has a lower ratio of complaints per adviser than the one that isnt named and shamed. In effect, the company being shamed is the better one to use.

    The data should be published in conjunction with other stats to allow a more balanced review. Naming firms with over 500 complaints is just going to appeal to the individuals that like to slag off brand names but in itself is no indication of failure or poor quality.
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
  • ~Brock~~Brock~ Forumite
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    Excellent points made by dunstonh, but surely we couldn't expect the FSA to let the facts get in the way of a good story could we?

    Now let's see ....strokes chin..... election looming, public sector cuts imminent, ' quick fellas, better think up something quick to remind everyone that we are too important to allow the axe to fall in our direction. All these complaints willl, after all, help to show just how needed we are after all and may continue to deflect attention from some very public embarrasments over the last few years".
  • natweststaffmembernatweststaffmember Forumite
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    I actually agree with what they are saying which is that those firms who are regulated by the FSA may not necessarily have that many complaints so the 500 complaints is the minimum.
    I would expect to see most financial firms and companies on that list.

    To quote from them:

    • "How many complaints they have opened and closed;
    • The percentage closed within eight weeks; and
    • The percentage of complaints upheld.
    Firms will need to present this information by five product areas: banking, home finance, general insurance and pure protection, life and pensions, and investments."


    The data itself maybe irrelevant to the main purpose of it which is that a firm does not just sit on a complaint unnecessarily and then it goes to the FOS to resolve when the bank could and should have done so previously.
    I think this is a positive.
    I have not worked for NatWest Bank since February 2009

    This username is no longer active.
  • ArthurianArthurian Forumite
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    Am surprised Abbey (now Santander) is not mentioned.
  • Alpine_StarAlpine_Star Forumite
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    dunstonh wrote: »
    Naming firms with over 500 complaints is just going to appeal to the individuals that like to slag off brand names but in itself is no indication of failure or poor quality.

    This statement just goes to highlight the depressingly low standards that the financial services industry lives by.

    It gives every indication of failure and poor quality. If I ran any company, no matter how large, that caused more than 500 people in six months enough angst to complain I'd be asking myself some serious questions as to what is going wrong.
  • Alpine_StarAlpine_Star Forumite
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    ~Brock~ wrote: »
    Excellent points made by dunstonh, but surely we couldn't expect the FSA to let the facts get in the way of a good story could we?

    Now let's see ....strokes chin..... election looming, public sector cuts imminent......

    How are public sector cuts relevant to the Financial Services Authority?
  • orc_2orc_2 Forumite
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    How are public sector cuts relevant to the Financial Services Authority?

    Well, tongue firmly in cheek..............one connection is........

    The financial industry is responsible for all the public spending cuts and the FSA was nowhere when they should have been.
    Please ignore those people who post on this forum who deliberately try to misinform you. Don't be bullied by them, don't be blamed by them. You know who I mean.
    You come here for advice, help and support- thats what I and like minded others will try to do.
  • ~Brock~~Brock~ Forumite
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    How are public sector cuts relevant to the Financial Services Authority?

    Because the FSA was the baby of a nu-Labour government and the Conservatives haven't exactly been silent on their intention to get rid of it.

    You should note that not everyone is a fan of the FSA!
  • Alpine_StarAlpine_Star Forumite
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    ~Brock~ wrote: »
    Because the FSA was the baby of a nu-Labour government and the Conservatives haven't exactly been silent on their intention to get rid of it.

    You should note that not everyone is a fan of the FSA!


    They might have been the baby of New Labour but that doesn't answer the question: Why would they be relevant to public sector cuts?
  • dunstonhdunstonh Forumite
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    This statement just goes to highlight the depressingly low standards that the financial services industry lives by.

    It gives every indication of failure and poor quality. If I ran any company, no matter how large, that caused more than 500 people in six months enough angst to complain I'd be asking myself some serious questions as to what is going wrong.

    You clearly missed the point that the big firms are going to be there by default because they do the most transactions and have the most staff. That doesnt make them bad.

    A bank with 50,000 staff just needs a complaints ratio per staff member of 1% to hit the 500 mark. Whereas a firm with 20 staff would need a complaints ratio of 2500% to hit the 500 mark. How is that fair and how is it beneficial to the consumer? Wouldnt you prefer to use a firm with a 1% failure rate than a 2500% failure rate?

    You almost know that the the name and shame list is going to be full of most the banks and possibly 1 IFA network purely on the basis of scale. Not because of quality or lack of quality
    I am an Independent Financial Adviser (IFA). The comments I make are just my opinion and are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice and you should not treat them as such. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from an Independent Financial Adviser local to you.
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