September 20, 2020

Volume X, Number 264

September 18, 2020

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September 17, 2020

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COVID-19: FCA Statement on Handling Complaints

On July 31, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) updated its statement on how firms should handle complaints during the COVID-19 pandemic — indicating to the market in the process that the time for regulatory forbearance as a result of the pandemic is effectively over. The FCA states: “We consider that firms have now had enough time to embed new ways of working, and, accordingly, a failure to comply with [FCA complaints rules], or other complaint handling requirements, should only arise in exceptional circumstances connected to the impact of Covid-19.”

The FCA maintains that handling complaints is an important function and firms should therefore take all reasonable steps to handle complaints fairly and effectively, including where staff are working from home.

The FCA continues to expect senior managers to be accountable for effectively overseeing how their firms handle complaints. Where firms are experiencing reduced complaint handling capacity as a result of coronavirus, the FCA expects firms to prioritize:

  1. promptly paying complainants who have been offered redress and accepted that offer (this includes compensation awarded by the Financial Ombudsman Service);

  2. the prompt and fair resolution of complaints from:

    1. consumers who are likely to be vulnerable to harm if their complaint is not resolved promptly and fairly, and

    2. micro-enterprises and small businesses who are likely to face serious financial difficulties if their complaint is not resolved promptly and fairly; and

  3. sending timely holding responses to those complainants in point two above where their complaints cannot be resolved promptly.

The statement is available here.

©2020 Katten Muchin Rosenman LLPNational Law Review, Volume X, Number 220


About this Author

Carolyn H. Jackson, International Attorney, Katten Muchin law firm

Carolyn Jackson is a partner in Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP and is a Registered Foreign Lawyer. She provides US financial regulatory legal advice to a broad range of market participants, including commercial banks, investment banks, investment managers, broker-dealers, electronic trading platforms, clearinghouses, trade associations and over-the-counter derivatives service providers.

Carolyn guides clients in the structuring and offering of complex securities, commodities and derivatives transactions and in complying with US securities and commodities laws...

+44 0 20 7776 7625
Nathaniel Lalone, Katten Muchin Law Firm, Financial Institutions Attorney
Senior Associate

Nathaniel Lalone, a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman UK LLP, has a broad range of experience in the regulation of financial products and financial markets, and frequently provides regulatory and compliance advice to trading venues, clearing houses and buy-side firms active in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives, futures and securities markets. He is actively involved in advising clients on the implementation of MiFID 2 and MiFIR in the European Union as well as the international reach of US financial services regulation. He also has significant experience with structuring and documentation relating to OTC derivatives and structured products.

Prior to joining Katten, Nathaniel was a member of the US Regulatory and the Derivatives and Structured Finance practices at Allen & Overy LLP.

+44 0 20 7776 7629
Neil Robson, private equity fund managers counselor, Katten Law Firm, London

Neil Robson, a regulatory and compliance partner with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, focuses his practice on counseling hedge and private equity fund managers and other investment advisers on operational, regulatory and compliance issues. He regularly addresses Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and EU authorization and compliance under both the EU Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFM Directive) and MiFID, cross-border issues in the financial services sector, market abuse, anti-money laundering and regulatory capital requirements, formations and buyouts of...