By Maximilian Clarke

At a seemingly ever-increasing rate, financial companies are falling foul of the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

In the last month, multi-million pound fines have a levelled to businesses including the Combined Insurance Company of America, Churchill and Direct Line as well as PwC and a host of other companies, for a range of infractions.

Commenting on the rising incidence of FSA fines, Paul Clark, CEO at Charter UK complaints management software, warns heads of complaints within financial institutions to re-evaluate their systems in place:

“The latest fines by the FSA are further evidence that complaints handling demands a highly specialist approach. Nominated heads of complaints within firms must be have complete confidence that the technology in place is able to evidence an entire complaint’s audit trail, which is paramount in satisfying the FSA’s requirements. These heads of complaints should now be asking themselves if their systems and technology are robust enough and fit for purpose. As regulation has moved on, so has the nature of complaints handling which is now much more specialised, and requires technology investment to eliminate non compliance and subsequent penalties.

"Technology and systems can also identify and control the risks involved of potentially escalating problems, and can avoid these entering the public domain, which can be so damaging to brand reputation. Companies must also be confident that decision-making controls are in place, with managers overseeing every step of the overall process. This will be all the more critical come July when the single stage complaint handling process comes into force, the biggest change to complaints handling the industry has ever seen. ”

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