Advisers generate few complaints

Advisers who long for Christmas after a difficult year can reflect on one positive trend: they have been relatively well behaved.

According to the banking ombudsman and chief executive of Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL), they have generated comparatively few official complaints.

That is despite the fact that Susan Taylor has been very busy with complaints overall.

But she told a recent webinar, that advisers did not constitute a very large share of them.

Taylor was speaking to a webinar organised by the brokers' lobby group, Financial Advice NZ this month.

She said the number of complaints was increasing overall but adviser complaints were not.  And she gave suggestions on how to keep it that way.

One was to try to resolve a dispute early on, long before it ever goes to arbitration. The other recommendation was always to take a customer's complaint seriously. And these techniques appeared to be working.

“I am sure one of the reasons we are not seeing many complaints is that advisers are doing a really good job of resolving the complaint directly with the client without it ever having to come near us,” Taylor said.

She said when an adviser listened closely to a client, it could take a lot of the heat out of a complaint.

In response to a query from TMM, FSCL backed up these comments with some statistics.

From December 1 2021 to November 30 2022, 40 dispute enquiries were opened regarding financial advisers. Of those, 15 were about lending advice, one was about financial advice and 24 were about insurance advice. In the same period, 95 complaint enquiries were opened regarding lending, most of them stemming from motor vehicle loans.

Most Read

Get TMM delivered to your inbox each week

Sign Up