Reported on Good Returns, April 13, 2016.
Compliance firm IDS is to tap the skills of its newly-appointed general manager to offer a new service to help advisers manage complaints. Reported on Good Returns, April 13, 2016.
IDS hired Trevor Slater in December. He is former general manager of Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL).
IDS owner Barry Read said the company would provide internal resolution services and support for adviser businesses across investment, insurance and risk advice, from next month.
“What we’ve found over the last few years is that if an adviser’s client has an issue or a complaint about a product or something has gone wrong, the advisers try to go back to the service provider and try to get it sorted.
“If they can’t get a suitable resolution, there’s not necessarily a complaints manager in the advice business, it might be just the adviser so then the next step is to go straight to the external dispute resolution. The issue there is that you’re a bit out of control of the process at that point.”
He said the new service would help advisers ensure they had good processes in place and provide authorised representation for them.
“[It will] almost be like their complaints manager, it takes the emotion out of it. When an adviser is being told by a client they think he’s done something wrong they get defensive. We’ve found that’s provided an opportunity.”
He said the goal would be to set up systems to stop the problems occurring in the first place. If they did, the service would aim to deal with them before they went to an EDR or the the FMA.
IDS is also looking to offer a mediation service.
“It requires industry expertise and expertise in mediation services. Trevor Slater has that, it’s one of the reasons we’ve brought him on board.”
Read said more details would be released closer to the launch date.
It was a service IDS had available for some time but the company was relaunching it alongside a new website, office and logo after its fifth birthday, he said.
“It’s everybody realising the position they’re in now. Previously the product providers and advisers would work quite closely together and look after each other. Go right back to tied agency days. If there was a problem the insurer would fix it up and look after the adviser. Now they’re separate entities and regulated separately. You can’t rely on your good relationship with an insurer to bail you out of a client issue.”