Others - Financial Conduct Authority
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Others

Complaints DISP 1 ANN 1R

Q1: How do I submit a nil return?

Answer:

If your firm doesn't have any reportable complaints, please declare a nil return by selecting 'No' to question 1 and 'Yes' to question 2. Please leave the other questions unanswered before validating and submitting the return, i.e. please do not enter n/a or any other information in the rest of the return.

Q2: How do I complete the form if I do not have any complaints for a particular product/service grouping?

Answer:

If you have no complaints for the product/service grouping because you do not undertake any business within that category, you should leave the cell blank. If you do undertake business in that category, but have received no complaints in the reporting period, you should put '0'.

Q3: What is the reporting period?

Answer:

DISP-defined reporting periods are determined by each firm's accounting reference date; and reports need to be submitted twice a year. (You can view your firm's reporting schedule on GABRIEL). However the reporting periods for credit unions covered in the Credit Unions sourcebook (CRED) run from 1 April to 31 March, so these reports only need to be submitted once a year.

Q4: Is there a standard way to report data?

Answer:

Firms covered by DISP need to use GABRIEL. However credit unions need to use the standard paper form.

Q5: What is the deadline for receiving completed forms?

Answer:

Electronic complaints returns need to be submitted to us within 30 business days of the end of the relevant reporting period; while credit unions have one month to submit their paper returns.

Q6: What will happen if a firm fails to respond by this date?

Answer:

The firm will be in breach of FCA rules. This may result in an administration fee of £250 or us taking other action against the firm.

Q7: How do you define a complaint?

Answer:

A complaint is defined as any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, 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 which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience.

Q8: Who is an eligible complainant?

Answer:

The definition of an eligible complainant is given in DISP 2.7. To summarise, it is those who have (or potentially have) a customer relationship with the firm who are either:

  1. a private individual;
  2. a micro-enterprise;
  3. a charity with an annual turnover of less than £1m when the complaint was made; or
  4. a trustee of a trust that had a net asset value of less than £1m when the complaint was made.

 

Q9: My firm has different points of contact for different types of complaints. Which contact should I put in section 4?

Answer:

DISP 1.10.9R requires that a firm must give us details of a single point of contact for complainants. If your firm has more than one complaints handling area, you should give us details of the most appropriate initial contact point for consumers.

Q10: Do I need to report every complaint received?

Answer:

DISP 1.10 sets out the reporting requirements. These requirements apply only to complaints received from eligible complainants. A complaint should only be reported if it:

  • is made by, or on behalf of, an eligible complainant;
  • relates to an activity of the firm that comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service;
  • involves an allegation that the complainant has suffered, or may suffer financial loss, material distress, and/or material inconvenience ; and
  • it has not been resolved by close of business on the business day following receipt of the complaint. (See also DISP 1.5)

 

Q11: Does every firm have to send a complaints return to us?

Answer:

Submitting a complaints return is one of the requirements on firms set by the Handbook Chapter, DISP (Dispute Resolution: Complaints). However there are certain types of firm that DISP does not apply to:

  1. Lloyds of London and its members (though see DISP 1.11);
  2. a UCITS qualifier;
  3. an authorised professional firm insofar as its non mainstream regulated activities are concerned; and
  4. credit unions (since they are not subject to DISP – however they do have to follow somewhat similar requirements of complaint handling and reporting as set out in CRED).

All other types of firm are covered by DISP, so have to submit complaints returns, unless they claim an exemption on the basis that they do not conduct any business with eligible complainants (i.e. complainants eligible to refer their complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service FOS) and have no reasonable likelihood of doing so (see DISP 1.1.12). This should be done through the FOS Exemption Notice form.

Q12: Do I need to report a complaint that has not been, or is unlikely to be, upheld?

Answer:

Yes.

Q13: We have received a complaint that is being referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Do we need to report it?

Answer:

Yes.

Q14: How do I categorise the complaints received?

Answer:

Firms should record all complaint cases during the reporting period and apply the categorisation that best reflects the original complaint, even where the complaint has not been, or is unlikely to be, upheld.

Q15: What sort of things should I put in the redress box?

Answer:

Firms should include any payments made to customers in relation to a complaint, whether upheld or not, or whether the complaint has been adjudicated by the FOS. The redress box should include items such as ex-gratia payments. DISP 1.10.3(3)

Q16: Am I exempt from Complaints Reporting Requirements if my firm doesn’t deal with eligible complainants?

Answer:

See the question 'Does every firm have to send a complaints return to us?' above.

Q17: Where do I find the categories of complaints and the generic product types used in the complaints return?

Answer:

This information is in the FCA Handbook, DISP 1 Ann 1R.

Q18: When is a complaint deemed ‘closed’?

Answer:

Full details are given in DISP 1.10.7R. In short, a complaint is deemed closed if:

  1. the firm has sent a final response;
  2. the complainant has indicated in writing that they accept the firm’s earlier response; or
  3. the complainant has failed to respond to the firm within eight weeks of the initial written response.

Q19: What is an outstanding complaint?

Answer:

A complaint is outstanding if it has not been closed (as defined above) on the relevant date (either at the beginning or end of the reporting period).

Q20: If a firm operating a two-stage complaints procedure has sent its initial written response (in accordance with DISP 1.6.5R), but has yet to hear back from the complainant by the end of the relevant reporting period, how should the complaint be treated for the purposes of reporting?

Answer:

A firm should treat such a complaint as:

  • received in reporting period P
  • outstanding at the start of reporting period P+1
  • closed during period P+1

 

Q21: Which parts of the information I am providing will be made public?

Answer:

The complaints contact details are made public through the Register. We publish aggregate complaints data every six months. We also draw on the trends and issues that emerge from the data as part of our wider public dialogue. Firms that report more than 500 complaints in any reporting period have to publish a summary of their own complaints data.

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