28 Oct 2014

FSCL says complaints up, but still low

1:13 pm on 28 October 2014

A finance disputes body says while the number of people complaining about financial service providers is growing, it is still worryingly low.

Financial Service Complaints (FSCL) received 3159 complaints and enquiries about financial service providers for the year ending June. However, the not-for-profit scheme formally investigated only 202 cases.

That was 1708 more than the previous year, an 84 percent increase.

Chief executive Susan Taylor said anecdotal evidence suggests it should be far more, and that many complainants may not come forward because providers are not telling clients about its service.

She said more than 50 percent of complainants were not told about the disputes service through their providers, who are obliged to do so.

"That raises concerns that there are a lot of other people out there that are not reaching us, that should be. If they are not being referred by their provider then it could be a question of pot luck whether or not they find us."

Ms Taylor said people are finding out about them through the internet or community advisors.

However, she said her organisation is not having to do as much work as it might, because companies are taking the initiative to resolve more complaints themselves.

As the Financial Service Providers Act beds in she said, more and more providers are seeing the benefit of when they receive a complaint settling it directly and quickly with the customer.

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