DISP is of particular relevance to firms with eligible complainants (not to be confused with eligible claimants; see Regulatory Roundup 25 for further details) in the handling of complaints e.g. time limit rules (DISP 1.6); submitting details of complaints to the FSA twice a year (DISP 1.10) etc.

The FSA has published Consultation Paper CP11/10 ‘Consumer complaints: The ombudsman award limit and changes to complaints-handling rules’ concerning changes to elements of DISP.

Changes include increasing the FOS award limit from £100,000 to £150,000 (DISP 3.7.4); abolishing the two-stage process in DISP 1.6; and the need to appoint an individual, who must be carrying out a governing function, to have responsibility for oversight of the firm’s compliance with DISP 1 (new rule DISP 1.3.7).

The changes will take effect (although labelled a ‘Consultation Paper’ the FSA is really only consulting on a possible minor change in the definition of ‘eligible complainant’) at various times ranging from this coming 1 July through to 1 July 2012.Further information can be found in Appendix 2 of CP11/10 which contains draft Handbook text.