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corporate plan and 2010/11 budget

January 2010

complaint trends

2009/10 enquiries

Our 2009/10 budget assumed that we would receive 975,000 enquiries - a 23% increase compared to 2008/09. Our current forecast is that enquiries will be in line with the budget.

enquiries actual
12 months
2008/09
actual
9 months
2009/10
forecast
12 months
2009/10
budget
12 months
2009/10
phone calls to our enquiry line 399,918 339,067 500,000 500,000
written enquiries 389,959 353,049 475,000 475,000
total 789,877 692,116 975,000 975,000

2009/10 new cases

Our 2009/10 budget assumed that we would receive 150,000 new cases - an 18% increase compared to 2008/09. New cases are currently running at 11% above budget, and our current forecast is that we will receive around 167,000 new cases.

An analysis by product is set out in annex A. There were fewer insurance and investment cases than we budgeted for, but this was more than offset by higher numbers of complaints about banking and about PPI.

new cases actual
2008/09
forecast
2009/10
budget
2009/10
banking 51,892 73,000 65,000
insurance (excluding PPI) 19,102 20,400 25,000
investment 22,307 24,300 30,000
consumer credit 3,014 6,600 5,000
payment protection insurance (PPI) 31,066 42,700 25,000
total 127,381 167,000 150,000

2009/10 cases resolved

Our 2009/10 budget assumed that we would resolve 165,000 cases: a 44% increase compared to 2008/09. We are on target to close that number, although - because the timetable for introducing regulatory guidance is later than we had originally envisaged - there is some risk that the resolution of a block of PPI cases might slip into the early months of the next financial year. Set against this, the end of the "test case" on overdraft charges and the associated complaint waiver means that we should be able to resolve a number of the previously "on-hold" cases about this issue.

The majority of cases have been resolved by our own staff, but a significant minority have been resolved by outsourced staff - in line with the plan we published last year. Although outsourcing is more expensive than using in-house staff, it gives us the flexibility to manage increases in our caseload without incurring the significant potential costs of taking on and then laying-off in-house staff.

2009/10 productivity and timeliness

We measure productivity overall - dividing the total number of cases resolved over 52 weeks by the total number of adjudicators. Individual adjudicators do not work 52 weeks, because of leave-entitlement and training. So the average number of cases that an individual adjudicator resolves per working week is higher than the overall productivity figure.

During 2009/10 we have recruited significant numbers of new staff, who need training and experience before they get up to speed. And many experienced staff have had to be diverted to training and mentoring the newcomers.

Additionally, though the number of cases we expect to resolve is in line with our budget, this number includes a higher than expected proportion of more complex cases. So we expect productivity to be closer to 4.0 cases per adjudicator per week, compared with the budget of 4.7.

Improving productivity is one of the aims of the long-term business-process improvement project we have launched, as mentioned in chapter 2, which includes the use of external consultants.

workload plans actual
12 months
2008/09
actual
9 months
2009/10
forecast
12 months
2009/10
budget
12 months
2009/10
opening work-in-progress 58,106 71,628 71,628 62,364
new complaints 127,471 117,906 167,000 150,000
cases resolved 113,949 107,549 165,000 165,000
closing work-in-progress 71,628 81,985 73,628 47,364
work in hand (weeks) 32.7 25.0 23.2 14.9
productivity 4.8 3.7 4.0 4.7
% closed within 6 months 56 65 65 65
unit cost £508 n/a £587 £559

2010/11 enquiries

Enquiries to our customer contact division during 2010/11 are expected to grow in line with our estimate of new cases.

enquiries actual
2008/09
forecast
2009/10
budget
2010/11
phone calls to our enquiry line 399,918 500,000 575,000
written enquiries 389,959 475,000 550,000
total 789,877 975,000 1,125,000

2010/11 new cases

Our central estimate is that the total number of new cases will increase to 190,000 during 2010/11.  An indicative breakdown of new cases is given in annex A and summarised in the table below. Forecasting the numbers of new cases is not an exact science, and we have planned for a range between 165,000 (optimistic) and 228,000 (pessimistic).

Initial discussions with stakeholders have suggested a consensus that our central forecast is probably about right, but that there is a greater risk of the figure moving towards the pessimistic rather than the optimistic end of the scale.

new cases actual
2008/09
forecast
2009/10
budget
2010/11
banking 51,892 73,000 85,000
insurance (excluding PPI) 19,102 20,400 23,600
investment 22,307 24,300 25,200
consumer credit 3,014 6,600 10,200
PPI (payment protection insurance) 31,066 42,700 46,000
total 127,381 167,000 190,000

2010/11 cases resolved

We aim to resolve 210,000 cases in 2010/11 - to deal with the record number of new cases in our central forecast, and to work towards eliminating the waiting times that have necessarily grown up in some areas while we recruited and trained extra staff.

This represents a substantial increase compared to 2009/10, and requires a capacity of 925 adjudicators. We intend to resolve 135,000 cases with our own staff, and to use outsourced staff for the remainder (about one third).

2010/11 productivity and timeliness

Our 2010/11 budget assumes that both productivity and timeliness will both improve during the year - as a result of staff recruited during 2009/10 becoming more experienced, and of our implementing business-process improvements.

workload plans actual
2008/09
forecast
2009/10
budget
2010/11
cases with us at the beginning of the year 58,106 71,628 73,628
new cases 127,471 167,000 190,000
cases resolved 113,949 165,000 210,000
cases with us at the end of the year 71,628 73,628 53,628
work in hand (weeks) 32.7 23.2 13.3
productivity 4.8 4.0 4.3
% closed within 3 months 30 40 55
% closed within 6 months 56 65 75
% closed within 9 months 77 80 85
% closed within 12 months 88 90 90