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FSCL helps participants with financial services complaints

FSCL helps participants nip financial services complaints in the bud

Dispute resolution scheme Financial Service Complaints Limited is helping its participants nip customer complaints in the bud under a new programme launched today.

Chief Executive Officer Susan Taylor says the ‘Give us a Call’ programme is based on the philosophy that the most successful way to resolve a complaint is to take action as soon as possible.

Under the programme, if an FSCL participant receives a complaint from a customer, they can contact FSCL and receive informal advice on how to resolve it, before it escalates into a dispute. Typically a dispute resolution service would only get involved when two parties have reached deadlock. The service is provided at no charge.

“We’re in the business solving problems and resolving complaints for consumers and financial service providers. As experts in complaint resolution, we want to share our expertise with FSCL participants who have chosen to be members of our scheme,” says Ms Taylor.

Ms Taylor says FSCL currently provides participants with complaint handling manuals and workshops on complaint resolution.

“The Give us Call programme allows us to help our participants resolve issues early on a case-by-case basis. Hopefully this will help them avoid additional costs and work – and an unhappy customer – where a complaint gets out of hand.”

FSCL has been trialling the programme with a number of participants over the last 12 months. As a result, a range of complaints have been resolved without needing to be escalated through the formal disputes resolution process.

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“As a not-for-profit we’re here to help participants and their customers resolve complaints, not generate them. Give us a call is about getting a win-win for everyone,” says Ms Taylor.

FSCL is an independent not-for-profit external dispute resolution scheme approved by the Minister for Consumer Affairs under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008. It was the first scheme to be approved and has been designed for and in consultation with the financial services industry on the principles of efficiency and effectiveness. It is governed by an independent Board with equal consumer and industry representatives, and an independent Chair.

FSCL provides dispute resolution services to participating financial service providers and their customers. Financial services providers pay an annual fee, based on the category and scale of their business, to participate in a scheme. The service is free to consumers.

The FSCL process focuses on resolving complaints through conciliation and assisted negotiation and is also able to make formal determinations which are binding on financial service providers.

For more information on FSCL visit www.fscl.org.nz

The other dispute resolution schemes in the financial services industry are the Banking Ombudsman, the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman and Financial Dispute Resolution.

For more information about the financial services disputes resolution regime visit www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/for-consumers/how-to-complain/financial-service-providers-disputes-resolution


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