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FCA Compliant Complaints Handling

2 Part Course  |  FCA Requirements & Effective Practice Considerations

FCA Compliant Complaints Handling Training Course

A one-day course presented in two half-day live webinars

Video Overview

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and meet your trainer.

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The session is designed for those working in UK regulated firms and subject to the FCA rules. Beyond that, the session will add value for anyone in either the first or second line responsible for dealing with, managing or responding to complaints including assessing the overall framework. Associated bodies such as the Financial Services Ombudsman or other Alternative Dispute Resolution providers would also benefit from a core understanding of the process and regulatory expectations. Some experience of complaints handling would be beneficial but not essential.

  • We have delivered workshops on this subject for over 10 years and have seen how the rules have changed and how firms have successfully adapted to them. We are also well aware how FCA expectations have changed alongside the best practice and mandatory updates.
  • We have served clients of all shapes and sizes in the financial sector and are fully aware of the obligations of a regulated firm and what is expected from them by the regulator.
  • We have been delivering training for over 20 years and this is one of our core competencies. We are certain we know the topic as well as anyone in the market place
  • Your course director is experienced as both a regulator and in training regulatory requirements across wholesale and retail financial firms. He will pass on past experiences to enhance the workshop and help bring it to life
  • We do not use academics. All our trainers are highly experienced professionals with relevant vocational experience in the real world
  • Our case studies enhance the learning points and are often found to be essential in truly understanding the requirements and growing the skills to apply them
  • We are always judged by our results which speak for themselves and the feedback received from previous delegates has always been excellent.

  • To be able to deal with complaints confidently and effectively.
  • To understand the FCA’s expectations on how firms handle complaints and organise themselves to handle complaints.
  • To recognise good practice / avoid poor practices
  • To recognise the linkages between the design and marketing of our products / services and our complaints experience – joined-up thinking
  • Knowing what constitutes a regulated complaint
  • To be able to review your complaints handling procedures determining if they are fit for purpose and deliver the right outcomes
  • Learn how to handle complaints whether in person or by telephone, with a focus on particularly challenging complaints/complainants
  • Be able to identify the best response and win back that customer’s support
  • Understand the role of the FOS and what we need to inform clients about.

Part One

Session 1: Complaints – what are we talking about in a regulated sense

  • What do we understand a complaint to be?
  • The FCA definition and how firms have extended it
  • Finding the value in complaints
  • The regulator’s view on complaints?
  • Current FCA focus on complaints
  • Connected regulation – SYSC, TCF and evidencing our compliance

Session 2: The regulatory environment

  • The FCA rules – key changes and requirements
  • What the regulator is telling us about their findings – an assessment of the FCA Thematic Review
  • Examples of good and poor practice as identified by the regulator
  • The Summary Resolution – its use and implications
  • How do regulated firms set themselves up to both comply with the rules and deliver value to the client
  • What the FCA expects of firms
  • Case Study: reviewing a complaint received regarding communication to a deceased relative.  Discussion on how should we manage this.

Session 3: Building an effective complaints handling environment

  • What does the FCA want from a firm’s framework?
  • The roles and expectations of Senior Management Functions
  • Procedures – clarity, practicality, transparency
  • Effective processes for recording and handling complaints
  • The need to understand the underlying cause
  • Linking complaints with financial promotions and product oversight & governance
  • Systems which deliver consistent, appropriate outcomes in terms of redress
  • Should we split regulated and unregulated complaints – advantages and disadvantages
  • Should we encourage the front line to escalate all complaints
  • What good looks like and how do we often get it wrong?
  • Putting ourselves in the customer’s shoes
  • How do we gather and record complaint information – are systems fit for purpose?
  • Case Study – Examples of where frameworks might help or hinder achieving the right client outcome

Part Two

Session 4: Handling Complaints via Telephone / other social tech

  • How do we handle telephone complaints – the good, the bad and the ugly
  • The structure and environment for an effective complaint handling team
  • Dealing with the complaint:
    • Starting well – thanking the client for helping you to understand where you fell short of expectation.
    • Be clear that they have your attention and you want to help
    • The need to gather information
    • How we speak and how we behave
    • Gaining agreement to the root cause of the complaint
    • Knowing where you want to get to – being flexible on how you get there.
    • The value in letting the client get everything off their chest
    • Mirroring positively
  • Directing the conversation naturally
  • Signposting for the client so they know “what happens next”

Session 5: “The Angriest caller ever…”

  • Understanding the impact on ourselves
  • How we should respond vs. how we want to respond
  • Consideration will be given to:
    • Few are comfortable with conflict
    • Understanding the need to vent
    • Anger can be useful – shouldn’t be taken personally
    • Taking the heat out of the complaint
  • Earning the customer’s respect and helping them to understand

Session 6: Skilling ourselves to select the most appropriate response

  • How to respond when we are at fault
  • What skills do we need and how can firms develop them in staff?
  • Factors affecting our decision to hold our ground or find with the client
  • Succinct responses – referencing without repeating the complaint
  • Delivering the message –with empathy, regardless of the outcome
  • Case studies:  What are your “go-to” phrases to help arrive at the right outcome tactfully?  Group discussion on responses that participants would be happy to use and the need to make them work in your own voice

Session 7: Winning back the client

  • Client involvement in agreeing to a remedy
  • Explaining the options to a client – how might we proceed
  • Is there a need to inform or educate the client on why things have happened?
  • Thinking about future needs (avoiding “I’ve already complained once…!”)

Session 8: The Financial Ombudsman Service

  • What does the FOS do?
  • What are their powers/duties/obligations?
  • What is the process when a complaint goes to the FOS?
  • Compensation and Redress
  • Case study: Looking at recent FOS decisions to understand their thinking; and how it should influence ours.

Course Wrap-up:

  • Summary
  • Questions
  • Open forum

With over 20 years training experience in financial services, the trainer is well placed to support you across a range of compliance-related topics.  He is a former Head of Education for HSBC covering the UK and Europe, responsible for regulatory and financial crime related compliance learning.  His time at HSBC was during intense scrutiny from regulators and government functions during the bank’s Deferred Prosecution Agreement.

Other roles include leading the Monitoring and Testing programme for a UK Wealth Manager, and Senior Vice President responsible for Global Risk & Compliance training at a US-based bank.  He also worked in the Insurance Firms division at the Financial Conduct Authority (in the FSA days) where he was the divisional expert for the rules and outcomes required under the Training & Competence handbook.

The HSBC role, along with five years at Barclays in their Private Clients and Wealth functions, has seen him work with retail, commercial, wholesale and private banking channels.  Since leaving HSBC, he has worked with the compliance, HR and operational teams of firms to enhance their regulatory understanding, as well as delivering content across private equity firms, investment houses, banks and wealth managers.  He regularly delivers core programmes for TISA and the Investment Association.

The trainer is a former member of the Investment Management Association Training & Education Committee and won the Thomson Reuters award for “Most Effective Compliance Training at a Regulated Firm” in 2010.

Complaints Handling processes and Complaints Data are key metrics for the FCA as they are important indicators of whether regulated firms are really treating customers fairly by dealing with customer disappointment both professionally and promptly.  With continued regulatory consideration of how complaints data gives insight to a firm’s commitment to treating customers fairly, firms and especially senior managers should be looking at what they are doing to understand potentially negative outcomes for clients and to mitigate those.  Complaints data is one of the tools the regulator can use to compare a firm across its peers – if you’re getting higher numbers of genuine complaints or FOS referrals, you can at some point expect some regulatory scrutiny of your processes.

Although the latest environment has been around for a few years now, the course will examine the current requirement with reference to how we got here and what is expected of us.  We look at the “what” we need to do and “how” we deliver against that.  The programme is designed to be enjoyable as well as instructional with delegate participation actively encouraged. Practical examples are used to illustrate the learning points rather than leaving them as theoretical.


Who Should Attend

The session is designed for those working in UK regulated firms and subject to the FCA rules.  Beyond that, the session will add value for anyone in either the first or second-line responsible for dealing with, managing or responding to complaints including assessing the overall framework. Some experience of complaints handling would be beneficial but not essential.

  • The content was covered well whilst getting the participants involved so you heard different opinions to add to what you would normally think.
  • The instructor was fantastic - I have never met somebody so enthusiastic about the subject matter and it was very refreshing to see and hear this. It made it so that I was listening to every word he was saying, and it helped keep me engaged to the overall training.
Number of places:
Part 1
Number of places:
Part 2


Per participant per part
Discounts available for multiple place booking find out more

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