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How FSCS has helped customers through a difficult year

We catch up with FSCS Chief Operating Officer Jimmy Barber during England’s 'second lockdown' to look back at FSCS’s performance during a challenging and unusual year.

I last wrote at the end of April, when I reported that our claims service was operating as normal despite the pandemic and that FSCS had helped over 2,000 customers in just four days. I thought it was about time I updated you on more of the fantastic work the team has done since then. Despite the uncertain and difficult time we're going through, the FSCS team has been hard at work and continues to go above and beyond to help our customers.

Jimmy Barber, FSCS Chief Operating Officer

FSCS has always invested in technology to ensure we could efficiently serve our customers. This has paid dividends this year. Our staff were able to quickly adapt to remote working in March and we haven't lost a day of service since COVID-19 began.

Our team works in an agile way so we're able to quickly respond to situations and change direction when needed. This flexibility ensures we continue to help our customers when they need us the most.

How we've helped our customers during the pandemic

From 1 April to 30 October:

  • We made 20,812 decisions on claims, achieving 101% vs our target and paying £251.9m to those customers.
  • We also made 13,318 insurance payments, paying nearly £64.4m to our insurance customers.
  • Our average customer satisfaction score has been 83, compared to 78 for the same period last year.
  • Our average claims quality score is 98%.
  • We responded to customer complaints in an average of just five days – well ahead of our 20-day target.
  • We answered 88% of phone calls within one minute.
  • We answered 98% of webchats within one minute.

Behind the scenes, we’ve been focusing on projects that will have a direct and immediate impact on efficiency and customer experience, so customers get the right decision as quickly as possible, which is particularly important during these unsettling times. We know we’re on the right track as in October, our customer satisfaction reached 84% – one of the highest ever in our busiest ever month!

Pension application improvements

A recent example of one of the projects we've implemented to improve our customers’ experience is a change we've been trying out with pensions claims. Our aim was to make it less stressful to complete an application, which we know can take a long time and maybe even put people off making a claim altogether.

We simplified the process and reduced the number of questions in the pension claim application by more than a third. The results speak for themselves:

  • Customers took 31% less time to complete their application.
  • We saw less than half the number of drop-outs during the application.
  • Customers needed 57% fewer sessions to complete their claim.

Next year will be a challenging one, as we start to see the effects of COVID-19 on the industry. But our agile approach means we're well equipped to deal with what's coming in 2021 and we will continue to do everything we can to help our customers.