3 Feb 2014

Financial services inquiries increase

7:05 pm on 3 February 2014

A dispute resolution organisation set up to cover the financial services industry following the collapse of a number of finance companies says inquiries have more than doubled.

Financial Service Complaints (FSCL) chief executive Susan Taylor said the number of investigations it carried out jumped 55 percent to 116 in the six months to December compared with the same six months in 2012.

However, only 6.5 percent of those cases required a formal recommendation from FSCL, the final step in the dispute resolution process.

The results showed the company's scheme and wider regime were working effectively, Ms Taylor said.

"In terms of cases that we've opened for investigation in the first six months of the year, 116 cases, but we've had over 1500 telephone or email complaints and inquiries," she said.

Financial advisers made up fewer than 5 percent of the about 1500 complaints and inquiries received and included such things as people considering the advice they were given was unsuitable or inappropriate to their requirements, or that a product had been misrepresented to them.

Mortgages were also be responsible for fewer than 5 percent of complaints and inquiries but that could change in the next year as changes happened in the mortgage market, Ms Taylor said.