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8. Complaints

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction from a customer whether oral or written (and whether justified or not) about a firm or one of its employees. It is not necessary for a customer to explicitly describe an expression of dissatisfaction as a complaint in order for it to be treated as such. Conversely, if a customer expressly requests that an expression of dissatisfaction is not to be treated as a complaint, it should not be dealt with as a complaint.

Our policy

  • Representatives - A customer is entitled to make a complaint via a representative, typically an individual authorised by the customer to represent them, e.g. a relative or a firm engaged by the customer to handle the complaint.
  • Receiving complaints - Complaints may be provided via any reasonable medium. We will not insist a complaint be provided via any particular medium.
  • Early Resolution Procedure – Where a complaint is made to a member of our staff, that person will seek to resolve the complaint immediately. If the recipient is not able to resolve the complaint, they will refer it to their line manager, who will seek to resolve it. If that’s not possible the complaint will be referred to our Customer Relations team.
  • Investigation - Complaints will be investigated in as much detail as necessary. Additional information will be obtained as necessary, including obtaining information directly from any of our staff involved.
  • Decision - Once a complaint has been investigated, a decision will be made about whether we will uphold or reject the complaint. If the complaint is upheld, a decision will be made as to whether or not it is appropriate to make an offer of redress.
  • Final Response - The result of the investigation will be communicated to the customer in a ‘Final Response’. This will be sent within 8 weeks (56 days) of receipt of the complaint and will include the result of the review, including our reasons for accepting / rejecting the complaint, together with details of any remedial action or redress agreed.
  • Eight-week response - If it is not possible to provide a Final Response within the eight-week time limit, we will send the customer an ‘Eight-week response’ letter, indicating when we can expect to respond to the compliant and explaining the customer’s options for dispute resolution.
  • Dispute resolution - Where a complainant does not accept our findings or accept our offer of redress, they may refer the complaint to an independent body for dispute resolution. For regulated cases, that body is the Financial Ombudsman Service; who set out their process on their websites.

What it means to you

  • If you wish to make a complaint, we won’t put any barriers in your way.
  • We will seek to deal with your complaint immediately.
  • If we can’t deal with your complaint immediately, we’ll carry out sufficient investigation to reach a fair decision.
  • We will keep you up to date with our investigation into your complaint.
  • We will set out in writing the result of our investigation and explain how we reached our decision.
  • We will tell you what you can do if you don’t agree with our decision.