THE FCA is failing its internal targets for Appointed Representative (AR) applications with only 10% of submissions being completed within the five day aim. The figures are revealed in the FCA’s latest Operating Service Metrics document which covers the 2021/22 financial year. 

The 10% figure represents a drop from 19% in the previous financial year and from above 50% in 2019/20.

The figures come as leasing brokers have increasingly reported to Broker News that the FCA has been falling behind on approvals and the organisation has suffered a summer of strike action by disgruntled workers.

However, according to an FCA spokesman, the metrics document also reveals the organisation hits its six month target for granting permissions 97.8% of the time. Plus it hits its 60 working day target for approving acquisitions 98.9% of the time.

Speaking to Broker News, one broker who declined to be named, said the FCA delays were “restricting our services and therefore impacting our business”.

They added: “Are these delays ‘treating customers fairly’? I think not.”

Summer unrest at FCA and roles not filled

At the start of the summer, FCA workers who are members of the Unite union held industrial action in May, June and July with week-long strikes and work to rule after the FCA management refused to engage in discussions over pay, terms and conditions.

In August, a Financial Times investigation found that 14% of roles within the FCA remain empty despite a recruitment drive.

The FT also found that staff morale had dropped over the past year. A Freedom of Information request discovered that only 30% of staff thought the FCA was a great place to work, down from 70% last year. Additionally the request uncovered that there was reduced belief in the FCA’s leadership team.

Additional concerns raised over FOS costs

While we asked for feedback over the FCA performance, another broker told us that their beef was not so much with the FCA, but the Financial Ombudsman Service, having reduced the number of free complaints from 25 to three with a charge of £750 for each complaint thereafter.

The broker went on to say: “Due to the increase in vehicle delays customers are complaining for free to the FOS and the broker is incurring the cost.”

The FOS website states:

“From the 4th complaint onwards, we charge a case fee of £750.

“If a case does need to be investigated, it becomes a chargeable case, regardless of the outcome.”

The broker added that it would be cheaper to pay compensation to complainants, whether right or wrong, simply because it was cheaper.

Additional reporting: Ralph Morton

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