The regulator has been asked to deal with all aspects of complaints received, always type up handwritten notes of significant meetings electronically and update required-response dates when sending out letters.
The requests have been revealed in a letter from complaints commissioner Antony Townsend to the FCA, after the unnamed former chair escalated a complaint when he became dissatisfied with the regulator’s own response.
It comes after an FCA enforcement at an unnamed company, a process the former chair alleged was flawed.
The former chair accused the regulator of deciding to deal primarily with the chief executive and excluding the board from discussions during the enforcement, a claim rejected by the commissioner.
The former chair also said the process took too long and damaged people’s careers based on poor understanding of events, points also rejected by the commissioner.
The commissioner ruled that the enforcement process itself properly reflected the law and was not unduly delayed.
However, commissioner Townsend also said that in dealing with the chair’s subsequent complaint the FCA failed to respond to the claims it had relied solely on ‘off-record’ conversations with the .
He said that while the FCA was not at fault in that regard, it should nonetheless have addressed this aspect of the complaint.
Townsend recommended the regulator apologise for the omission and review its complaints procedure to make sure all aspects are dealt with.
Townsend also criticised the FCA for failing to convert handwritten notes of significant meetings into electronic form to prevent information being lost over time or suffering due to unclear handwriting, staff handover or “faded memories”.
Finally, he recommended the FCA pay £75 ( to the former chair for the length of time taken to conclude the complaints process, suggesting that part of the delay was avoidable.
The commissioner said the FCA should also review drafts before sending, after it inadvertently sent the former chair a letter indicating a one-day period in which to respond after failing to update a draft held up in a checking process.
Townsend said the FCA had agreed to accept and implement all of his recommendations.