Ex-gratia payments for complaint handling delays

We explain our approach when we consider making an ex-gratia (goodwill) payment because of the distress or inconvenience caused by avoidable delays in our complaint handling.

We aim to apply a consistent and fair approach to ensure outcomes are appropriate and proportionate, based on the individual features of each complaint, including the reasons for and length of delay.   

Sometimes it may take us longer than the timeframes set out in the Complaints Scheme to provide our full response to a complaint. This could be for a variety of reasons, including the complexity of a case and the nature of our investigation. When we are unable to meet the timeframes set out in the Scheme, we will keep complainants regularly updated on progress.  

In deciding what remedy is appropriate, we must consider the factors in the Scheme (paragraph 7.14). Where there have been avoidable delays on our part (excluding any period of time where a complaint is deferred under paragraph 3.7 of the Scheme), we will take that into consideration.  

Levels of ex-gratia payments 

This table shows the levels of ex-gratia payment we believe are appropriate when assessing the impact of an avoidable delay. We use this table as a guide to be consistent. However, we will continue to assess all complaints on their individual merits in line with the Scheme.

 

Response time (from the date we received the complaint)* Ex-gratia payment amount
Up to four months None - apology offered where appropriate
Up to six months £50
Up to eight months £75
Up to ten months £100
Up to twelve months £125
Greater than a year £150 - £250

*these timescales exclude the duration of any deferral. See paragraph 3.7 of the scheme.