FCA investigation continues as home emergency firm turns around its UK business

Homeserve has increased customer acquisition marketing activity in the UK as the turnaround of the UK division continues.

In a trading update covering the six months to 30 September, the home emergency firm and insurance broker said it was also confident of achieving its full-year target of 200,000 gross new customers, a customer retention rate of 80% and stabilising year-end customer numbers at 1.9 million.

Homeserve’s UK operations hit trouble in October 2011, when it suspended all telephone sales and marketing after finding that some of its sales process “did not meet the company’s required standards”.

The Financial Services Authority also launched an investigation into possible mis-selling at the firm that year. The investigation is still continuing under the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Since the problems emerged in 2011, UK customer numbers have dwindled. As at 30 September they stood at 2.2 million.

The company expects customer numbers to stabilise at 1.9 million at the end of this financial year, then start growing again.

It said in the trading update: “We continue to see improvements in customer service and satisfaction.”

Homeserve will release its full results for the six months to 30 September on 19 November.