Poor handling of customer complaints cost the Royal Bank of Scotland and its Natwest division £2.8 million after the Financial Services Authority (FSA) declared its verdict on Tuesday.
The bank failed to handle routine customer complaints in 2009 and there was an unacceptably high risk that customers may get a raw deal, the FSA investigation found. RBS was the second largest bank in the country with 2,200 branches and 15 million customers when the investigation was launched.
During a review of major lenders, poor performance by most state owned banks came to light, said FSA Managing Director of Enforcement, Margaret Cole.
Ms Cole said in a statement “We expect firms to treat customers fairly and that consumers can be confident that their complaints will be dealt with properly”.
RBS and Natwest agreed to make changes to customer handling procedures after FSA published an industry consultation paper in Last September.
RBS and Natwest were staring at a possible £4 million fine which was reduced after they accepted an early settlement at a 30 percent reduced rate.
RBS Group’s Chief Executive of UK retail operations said in a statement “We recognise the importance of complaint handling for our customers and are focused on addressing the root causes of complaints “.
The FSA investigation found that RBS delayed in responding to customer complaints, did shoddy investigation to customer complaints and did not address al complaints raised by the customers.