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The FSA makes a stand on complaints handling in banks

As you may already have seen in the news this week, some of the biggest banks on the High Street have come in for some pretty severe criticism from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) over the way they handle customer complaints.

According to the FSA, five of the banks (which haven’t been named) have promised to make big improvements, while two are going face further investigation and could be in line for some hefty fines.

According to the FSA, four out of the five banks didn’t deal with complaints quickly enough, 36% of complaints it examined had been investigated poorly or inadequately and a shocking 18% of the decisions made about a complaint had been wrong and unfair to the customer.

The FSA has said that blame can be attributed at every level of the system – from a lack of interest from senior bank management, to bonus schemes that inhibited staff from paying compensation and front-line staff in branches  and call centres who aren’t given the time or training to handle complaints properly.

With numbers like these, it’s hard to believe that people are still so unwilling to vote with their feet and leave their bank if they don’t get the service they deserve.