Acknowledging the complaint
In relation to all written complaints, the Complaints Officer will acknowledge your complaint in writing within five business days. In relation to all verbal complaints, the Complaints Officer will acknowledge your complaint in writing within five business days, setting out her understanding of your complaint and inviting you to confirm in writing the accuracy of that statement.
The acknowledgement letter will outline the result of the investigation, if complete. If it has not been completed, the acknowledgement letter will:
- Confirm that the company will investigate your complaint and respond within four weeks;
- Highlight that if the investigation is not completed within four weeks following the initial receipt of the complaint, you will be informed of the reasons for the delay; and
- Point out that on completion of the investigation, you will be informed of the outcome and options available to you.
The Complaints Officer will investigate all complaints and may, where she considers it necessary, consult the advisor/member of staff whose actions or omissions gave rise to the complaint. The investigation will include a review of your client file and may, where necessary, involve contact with third parties to obtain information. If the Complaints Officer is subject to the complaint, your investigation will be conducted by another manager or director.
Immediately on completion of the investigation, the Complaints Officer will write to you notifying you of the outcome of the investigation and the nature and terms of any settlement. If you are not satisfied with the outcome then you may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service. The letter will also point out that this should be within the next six months or you may lose the right to take the complaint to the Ombudsman. The letter will incorporate the name, address and telephone number of the Ombudsman and a leaflet which explains the Ombudsman arrangements.
Any compensation offered will be fair and the basis of calculation will be explained to you.
If the investigation is not concluded within four weeks, the Complaints Officer will write to you informing you that the investigation is continuing, the reasons for the delay and when she expects to be able to contact you again.
If the investigation is not concluded within eight weeks, the Complaints Officer will write to you informing you of the reasons for further delay and that if you are not satisfied with progress you may refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Where a complaint goes to the Ombudsman
The firm will co-operate fully with the Ombudsman in resolving any complaints made against it and agrees to be bound by any awards made by the Ombudsman. The firm undertakes to pay promptly the fees levied by the Ombudsman.
Closing the complaint
A final letter will be issued to you setting out the result of the investigation and offering redress if appropriate as outlined in the investigation section above.
The letter will point out that this should be within the next six months or you may lose that right. The letter will incorporate the name, address and telephone number of the Ombudsman and a leaflet about the Ombudsman’s arrangements.
Where the firm receives confirmation from you that you are satisfied with the findings of the investigation and any resolution, the complaint will be considered closed by the Complaints Officer.
Where no confirmation has been received from you within eight weeks of the company’s final response, the complaint will be considered closed.