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FCA Warning List - investment scam checker | FCA complaint definition fca

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moncler sweater UK : Complaints Handling | Implementing The Complete FCA Complaint Definition Last Updated: 28 August 2015 Article by Nicholas Kemp Deloitte Your LinkedIn Connections at Firm

Implementing the regulatory changes in Policy Statement 15/19 will make complaint volumes more transparent; giving the regulator, the public and the media greater awareness of the actual number of complaints received by a firm.

Despite the FCA's promise to contextualise the first published set of revised complaints data, there remains a possibility that some elements of the media may portray a firm, which by volume has moved towards the top of the table, in a less than positive manner. This risk is especially pertinent to firms which, under the current reporting metrics, are placed comfortably and fairly anonymously towards the bottom end of the table when sorted by number of complaints.

As complaints data becomes more relevant and focused, it will likely become an additional factor consumers consider when shopping for financial products and services.

It is therefore in a firm's interest, from both a consumer and regulatory perspective, to report only complaints that meet the FCA Handbook Glossary definition.

The purpose of this blog is to consider the actions a firm could take to implement the full complaint definition and thus present a more accurate picture of their complaint volumes.

The FCA's position on accurate complaint identification

The FCA has been very clear in both CP14/30 and PS15/19 of its desire for firms to only report complaints that are aligned to the Handbook Glossary definition. They go so far in PS15/19 to threaten firms with supervisory or enforcement action if they do not take all measures necessary to comply.

The FCA acknowledge that firms may apply a wider definition to capture all feedback from consumers and that training staff to a level, which allows them to apply all the tests contained within the definition, is challenging. However, their intent is clear: firms should only report complaints which meet the definition within the Handbook Glossary.

The complaint tests

In our experience, it is the challenge in training staff to apply a consistent definition of material which causes firms to apply a far wider internal complaint definition, e.g. 'any expression of dissatisfaction', and as a consequence over-report (and thus make public) more complaints than they have actually received.

The majority of the tests within the complaint definition are straightforward:

Has an expression of dissatisfaction (orally or in writing) been made? Does the expression of dissatisfaction relate to the provision of (or failure to provide) a financial service? Does the expression of dissatisfaction relate to a financial service or product which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service?

And then there's the tricky part:

Does the complainant allege that they have suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience? Implementing the complete complaint definition

Based on our experience, and with the right time investment and culture from senior management, it is perfectly possible to successfully train staff to correctly identify complaints. Some of the practical actions a firm could consider taking are:

Providing classroom based training to all complaint logging staff ('Staff') which clearly explains and defines the three binary tests noted above with comprehensive illustrations for each, e.g. what would and would not be considered a failure to provide a financial service explains what constitutes a potential or actual financial loss explains how the firm have defined material with examples of how it should be considered in a wide range of firm-specific circumstances Providing decision making trees for each of the tests to help Staff identify complaints correctly Empowering Staff to make their own assessment of whether there has been material distress or inconvenience on a case by case basis. Firms should accept, as the FCA does, there will always be some subjectivity to this assessment Training quality assurance staff to make judgement based decisions when assessing complaint identification instead of applying binary rules Providing access to SMEs (certainly in the early stages of implementation) who can support Staff with correct complaint identification Providing weekly bulletins to Staff with examples of correct and incorrect identification of complaints to support calibration of understanding Reviewing any Staff assessment process to ensure that Staff are not penalised for mis-categorising consumer 'concerns' as complaints. In our experience, if there is a penalty for mis-categorising complaints staff will likely err on the side of caution, but this needs to be countered with robust controls to ensure there is no under-reporting Enabling the firm's complaint management system to be able to re-categorise complaints and 'concerns' once logged Implementing adequate competency tests and annual refresher / training assessments.

It goes without saying that firms should also acknowledge, address and learn from all customer concerns regardless of whether they meet the FCA definition. How a concern or complaint is defined should not impact customers, who remain at the heart of the process.

What are the benefits?

Accurate complaint identification means only true complaints enter a firm's formal complaint handling process leading to less confusion for consumers who do not think they have complained but then receive a final response letter or (after June 2016) a summary resolution communication.

It also presents an accurate portrayal of a firm's complaint volume to the regulator, the public and the media.

Finally, root cause analysis can be more appropriately focused enabling firms to identify and improve areas of the business, which are delivering a poor customer experience.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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Do you have a Question or Comment? Click here to email the Author Interested in the next Webinar on this Topic? Click here to register your Interest Contributor Nicholas Kemp Deloitte Email Firm View Website Events from this Firm More from this Firm More from this Author News About this Firm Authors Nicholas Kemp More Popular Related Articles on Finance and Banking from UK English Court Of Appeals Confirms Primacy Of "Choice Of Law Clause" In ISDA Master Agreements Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP On June 15, 2017, the English Court of Appeal handed down a unanimous judgment in the case of Dexia Crediop v. Comune di Prato [2017] EWCA Civ 428 (the "Dexia v. Prato case"), confirming that... FCA Publishes MiFID II Policy Statement and Consultation Paper (Investment Management Brief: 13 July 2017) Pinsent Masons LLP The FCA has published its final policy statement (Policy Statement II) PS 17/14 [03.07.17]. This includes final rules for implementing MiFID II. FCA Asset Management Market Study - Boosting Competition Amongst Asset Managers Through Sharper Accountability And Disclosure Deloitte The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has published its much anticipated final report of its Asset Management Market Study. MiFID II EU Access For Non-EU Portfolio Managers Dentons As of 3 January 2018, the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive II (MiFID II) will significantly amend the way forward for non-EU firms (third country firms) to access the EU market. CMA Set To Approve New Payment Systems Operator Pinsent Masons LLP A new consolidated payments infrastructure for the UK is set to come into existence, with the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) due to approve the plans later this month. Banks Face New Record Keeping Duty Under UK Regulator's PSD2 Regime Pinsent Masons LLP Banks and building societies will be obliged to keep a record of the volume of account information services and payment initiation services they provide under new payment services laws.. The Key IFRS 9 Impacts Which Banks Should Be Planning For Deloitte Deloitte has released a new paper, which helps banks take the first step towards understanding the impact of IFRS 9 accounting rules on their regulatory capital position. What Is MiFID And What Does It Mean For Clients? Hammonds Financial services firms are preparing to implement changes required by the European Commission

Professional Clients and the Financial Ombudsman Service

Home » Professional Clients and the Financial Ombudsman Service

Published: 19th June 2015


Changes are being made to the Disputes Resolution Sourcebook: Complaints Sourcebook (DISP) of the FCA Handbook. The changes mean that certain professional clients, and not just retail clients, will be able to have their complaints referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) if not otherwise resolved .

The new regime applies from 9 July 2015 (in respect of complaints received from that date).

Firms who have previously fallen outside the remit of the FOS may now have to apply the ‘complaints rules’ to some but not all professional clients.

What is a Complaint?

Under the FCA Rules, a “complaint”, subject to certain provisos, is defined as “any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from, or on behalf of, a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service, or a redress determination, which:

(a) alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience; and

(b) relates to an activity of that respondent, or of any other respondent with whom that respondent has some connection in marketing or providing financial services or products, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service”.

Who is an Eligible Complainant?

Presently, one of the requirements in DISP 2 (which sets out the scope of FOS jurisdiction) is that the complainant must be an ‘eligible complainant’.

An eligible complainant is:

A consumer (a “natural person acting for purposes outside his normal trade, business or profession” (i.e. an individual)). Micro enterprises (fewer than 10 employees and turnover or annual balance sheet of €2m or less). Charities with annual income less than £1m Trustee of a trust with net asset value of less than £1m.

Accordingly, an individual, whether classified as ‘retail’ or an ‘elective professional client’ would be a ‘consumer’ and on the face of it, be covered by the FOS. The rule (DISP 2.7.9(2)) applying to exclude professional clients from the definition of eligible complainant is overridden by a new rule (DISP 2.7.9A), so that an individual, if acting outside his trade, business or profession will qualify as a ‘consumer’ and will be covered by FOS even if classified as an ‘ elective professional client ’

The term ‘eligible complainant’ also applies to an investor in an Alternative Investment Fund.


There will be several implications for firms caught by the rule change, including (amongst others):

Required updates to Compliance Manuals and Monitoring Programmes; Required changes to Senior Management Arrangements, Systems and Controls documents; Updates to firms’ terms and conditions explaining the rights of clients to use the FOS; Potential changes to firms’ websites, general literature and financial promotion disclaimers; Required training for firms’ personnel ensuring identification of relevant complaints; Procedure and policy documents to deal with complaints including timeframes to follow; Complaints reporting to the FCA; Payment by firms of a FOS levy fee together with notification to the FCA that the firm is no longer exempt from FOS fees; and Potential payments of case fees to the FOS dependent upon the number of complaints received by a firm.

Complyport Services

Training courses and briefings for responsible staff are available Clients using ComplyTracker and ComplyTrainer will receive updates Complyport can assist you with: Building your firm’s complaints procedures; Updating training requirements Updating relevant literature including websites and terms and conditions of business; and Notifications and reports to the FCA as required.


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