FSCL: Keep in touch with clients

A small lift in complaints about advisers has prompted a reminder for advisers to keep in touch with clients.

Wednesday, May 13th 2020, 6:22AM

FSCL chief executive Susan Taylor said her disputes service had noticed a few extra complaints about advisers since the Covid-19 outbreak hit.

Some clients were upset when they discovered that an income protection policy did not cover them for the loss of a job. Others had been disappointed when they found their business interruption cover would not cover them for being closed during the pandemic.

Taylor said complaints and inquiries of this nature had numbered less than a dozen since the Covid-19 outbreak began.

At IFSO, there had been 14 complaint inquiries and one complaint about advisers since April 2, which a spokeswoman said was about the same level as normal.

There had been none about investment advisers, Taylor said, “which is perhaps a little bit surprising.”

There had been inquiries about not being able to access KiwiSaver withdrawal on hardship grounds, or a withdrawal that took longer than they thought it should.

But Taylor said FSCL had not yet received any complaints about being in the wrong risk profile or having received poor advice about how an investment should be expected to perform.

Historically, a market fall would often trigger those complaints, she said.

It could indicate that advisers were setting expectations well and explaining that volatility was normal and not to be worried about, she said.

Advisers should check in with their clients when they could, she said, and see what assistance they could offer – including reminding them about the Government relief packages available to businesses if they were SME clients.

“Just keeping in contact and showing your clients you’re there for them, you care for them and are there to help them through these challenging times.

“As other commentators have said, clients will remember those advisers who took the time to reach out and check in on them and will be more likely to use that adviser’s services again and recommend that adviser to others.”

Tags: coronavirus Covid-19 FSCL

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