Today the FCA has published information clarifying how firms should handle complaints during the coronavirus crisis. You can find the information in full here.
Firms should take all reasonable steps to ensure as much complaint handling as possible continues through staff working from home, where this can be done fairly and effectively.
We understand that firms’ capacity to handle complaints could be reduced as a result of coronavirus. We therefore expect firms to prioritise:
paying promptly complainants who have been offered redress and accepted that offer
the prompt and fair resolution of complaints from:
consumers who are likely to be vulnerable to harm if their complaint is not resolved promptly and fairly, and
micro-enterprises and small businesses who are likely to face serious financial difficulties if their complaint is not resolved promptly and fairly
sending timely holding responses to those complainants in 2. where their complaints cannot be resolved promptly
If a firm cannot deliver these three priorities effectively, or sufficiently, through home working, then we consider it could be appropriate for the firm to maintain the minimal physical onsite presence needed to do so, provided that the site is configured for social distancing in line with Government guidelines.