RBS and NatWest fined £2.8 million by FSA

Posted on January 13th, 2011 | Categories - News

Fines have been administered to two high street banks who did not handle customer complaints in the proper manner.

Customer complaints that were mishandled by RBS and NatWest have caused the FSA to issue fines to both lenders.

Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and NatWest have been fined £2.8 million by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) after failing to deal with customer complaints correctly.

The FSA found that the banks had delayed responding to customer complaints, carried out badly executed investigations and provided inadequate explanations to consumers, according to the BBC.

Brian Hartzer of RBS said: “We recognise the importance of complaint handling for our customers and are focused on addressing the root causes of complaints”.

The FSA said that the lack of quality training and guidance for bank employees who dealt with complaints teamed with poor monitoring from managers were to blame for the problems.

Almost a third of the complaints made to RBS and its NatWest subsidiary were not handled within the correct time frame. Also many customers who were dissatisfied with the delayed responses were not informed that they could go to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) for help.

However, the FSA concluded that although mistakes had been made, the behaviour of both banks had not been “deliberate or reckless”. It also found that neither financial institution had “intentionally profited” from their failure to respond to complaints accordingly.

Margaret Cole, the FSA’s managing director of enforcement and financial crime said: “We expect firms to treat customers fairly and that consumers can be confident that their complaints will be dealt with properly”.