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Insurance, especially for travel, dominates complaint investigations, says FSCL

Tuesday 25th July 2017

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Insurance, especially for travel, remains the largest category of complaints investigated by Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL),a not-for-profit external dispute resolution scheme for financial service providers and their clients.

FSCL was incorporated in 2009 and lists chairman and Wellington barrister Kenneth Barry Johnston QC as its sole shareholder. It was the first scheme approved by the Minister for Consumer Affairs under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008 and its services are free to consumers, according to its website. It charges brokers and advisers annual fees to participate in its scheme.

"Insurance – predominantly travel – remains the largest category of complaints formally investigated by FSCL, followed by consumer credit," the company said in a statement. Enquiries and complaints rose 21 percent to 4,365 in its latest year, "continuing the steady year on year increase the scheme has seen since it was established in 2010."

Chief executive Susan Taylor says the increase was across the board, but a common theme underlying the complaints FSCL investigated was a communication breakdown.

“Many complainants say they were not given important information, or that the information they were given was ambiguous or poorly worded," she said. "Other times the complainant hasn’t disclosed certain information or simply hasn’t understood the information provided, be that the terms of an insurance policy or a written recommendation or plan.”

Dispute resolution schemes in the financial services industry are also operated by the Banking Ombudsman, the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman and Financial Dispute Resolution, a scheme operated by FairWay Resolution Ltd, which describes itself as New Zealand's largest specialist conflict management company, handling 12,000 disputes a year.


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