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Complaints procedure

Under FCA rules you need to have an internal complaints procedure in writing and all staff need to be aware of this. The procedure will help you implement TCF.

Complaints procedure checklist

  • Definition/examples of what constitutes a complaint – oral or written - and examples of what doesn’t.
  • Confirmation of who in the firm is assigned to deal with complaints and how complaints are passed to them (must be a competent person, and may include an outsourced service).
  • In the case of small firms, the above to include evidence/confirmation that complaints will not be handled solely by the person against whom the complaint was made.
  • Confirmation of the firm’s right, where appropriate, to refer a complaint to another firm – for example where the fault lies with the lender’s service.
  • A summary of key steps to take in order to investigate the complaint, eg
    • Review file/facts
    • Speak to relevant broker/other individual
    • Record outcome/recommendation in writing
    • If changes/improvements to procedures required flag for action
  • Confirmation of requirement to respond to complaints in line with FCA rules (all deadlines apply from the date the original complaint was received):
    • A prompt written acknowledgment – to include a written summary of your internal complaints procedure (may double up as final response)
    • Further holding letter or final response within four weeks
    • Final or other response within eight weeks
    • Requirement to inform customers of their right to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme (FOS) if they’re unhappy with the final response or if they don’t get a response within eight weeks
    • The need to inform customers of the six month deadline for contacting the FCA from the date of the final response
  • Encouragement also to use the phone to keep customers informed of progress/delays – and, where possible, to record the conversations
  • Confirmation that copies of correspondence and notes from telephone conversations must be kept on file for each complaint.
  • Outline procedure for systematic logging of complaints by date, nature, name, whether or not considered justified and confirmation of response dates/outcome.
  • Confirmation of how/when/to whom the complaint handler should report complaints internally and make recommendations for revised practice where appropriate. Complaint log sheets
  • Confirmation that customers are made aware in writing of the availability of the internal complaint handling procedures at or immediately after the point of sale (this may be in the initial disclosure document or the offer document).
  • Also confirmation that the details of the internal complaint handling procedures are published, and that a copy is supplied to a customer on request, or in response to a complaint not resolved by the end of the next business day of being received. Download an example complaints leaflet
  • Confirmation of the requirement to report complaints to the FCA twice a year for the six month periods preceding and following the firm's accounting reference date.
  • Confirmation of the requirement to use the FCA’s standard Complaints Form and electronic reporting procedure via the Firms Online service.  

This document is a general guide only. Please follow the links below for more detail.