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What is a complaint?

FCA definition

The FCA defines a complaint as:

‘Any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written, and whether justified or not, from or on behalf of an eligible complainant about the firm’s provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service’.

The bottom line is that if your customer expresses dissatisfaction verbally or in writing then you need to put things right.

If you can do this by the end of the next business day, you – and your customers - have everything to gain.

Resolving complaints by the end of the next business day
– the benefits

  • a happier customer, leading to improved customer loyalty
  • offers you the chance to examine and put right weaknesses in your service early on, reducing future similar complaints
  • reduces follow up correspondence requirements under FCA complaints rules
  • no need to report complaints resolved within one business day to the FCA – reduced administration

‘Putting things right’ could be simple as:

  • carrying out a simple fact check into what happened


  • verbal acknowledgment of poor service and an apology (and, if relevant, what action you’re taking)
  • verbal feedback offering clarification if you think the client may have misunderstood
  • verbal confirmation that action has been taken to correct an error
  • if possible, verbal reassurance of what you’ll do to prevent it happening again