Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for complaints and compensation
Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for complaints and compensation

The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)—implications for complaints and compensation
  • Complaint handling capacity and priorities
  • Vulnerable consumers
  • Maintaining the quality of complaints handling
  • Firms experiencing difficulties
  • PPI complaints
  • FOS
  • FSCS
  • Extension of Temporary High Balance coverage
  • Claims management companies (CMCs)
  • More...

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the associated public health measures have caused many firms serious practical challenges, including in their operations dealing with consumer complaints. Banks and insurance companies have and are likely to continue to receive coronavirus-related inquiries and complaints about travel and medical insurance policies, and goods and services bought with credit (for example, where an event is cancelled and people are seeking a refund via their credit provider). If consumers are not satisfied with the response they receive, they may complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). If a financial services firm has failed, consumers may seek compensation from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).

The FCA has emphasised that firms must treat customers fairly and consider the needs of those affected by coronavirus. Businesses should be fair in their assessment and handling of complaints involving coronavirus, and follow guidelines and advice from relevant government and regulatory bodies.

On 1 May 2020, the FCA published a statement clarifying its position on complaints handling during the coronavirus crisis. It reviewed and updated this statement in July 2020 and October 2020 and intends to review the statement again by the end of April 2021 at the latest. The FCA also published information for consumers on how their complaints should be handled during the coronavirus situation, and it introduced some temporary measures for firms submitting regulatory returns.

The FOS

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