Regulatory Complaint Handling & The FCA

Regulatory Complaint Handling & The FCA

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The FCA’s complaint handling requirements and the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)

The FOS is an independent adjudicator of consumer complaints linked to the supply of finance.
Firms must have their own internal complaints handling procedures and comply with rules (set out in the DISP chapter of the FCA Handbook) which set out timescales within which responses to complaints must be given to customers. The firm must have an adequate regulatory complaints policy and procedures as well as effective means of recording their categories and responses in a compliant way.
If, at the end of a firms internal complaints-handling process (generally eight weeks), the customer remains dissatisfied, they have the right to refer the complaint to the FOS for adjudication and resolution. FOS’s decision is not binding on customers, who remain free to pursue their complaint in the courts if they wish: the decisions are however binding on firms and FOS can order firms to take corrective action and where appropriate pay redress up to £350,000.
This was increased from £150,000 on 1st April 2019. The increase only applies to complaints referred after 1st April 2019. For complaints referred after 1st April 2019 about earlier complaints, the limit increased from £150,000 to £160,000.

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This guide is only an aide memoire and intended for information only for anyone appraising the documentation needed in an audit/compliance check. It is not to be considered as direct advice or intended to replace specific 1 to 1 engagement with your compliance and risk professional.
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