Making a complaint
Complaints Manager contact details
Name: Jillian O’ Donovan
Address: The Learning People, 2nd Floor, The Agora, Ellen Street, Hove, BN3 3LN
Any complaint verbal or written will be referred to our complaints manager at the earliest opportunity or to a member of the senior management if the complaints manager is unavailable. We will also
- acknowledge the complaint in writing promptly
- give details in our acknowledgement letter of the Financial Ombudsman Service
- make contact to seek clarification on any points where necessary
- fully investigate the complaint
- keep you informed of our progress
- discuss with you our findings and proposed response
You will receive contact from us advising on progress if we cannot respond immediately. We will let you have our final response as soon as possible and not later than eight weeks.
We will be the first contact if you have any complaints. However, you can also refer your complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service if:
- you have already received our final response. The complaint must be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service no later than 6 months after the date on which we sent you the final response; or
- eight weeks have lapsed since we received your complaint. However, the complaint will not be considered by the Financial Ombudsman Service if it is referred more than 6 years after the event complained of or more than 3 years from the date on which you should have reasonably become aware that you had cause for complaint.
Adviser or Provider
Clients often express dissatisfaction to their adviser about the product provider. We will need to establish whether or not your complaint relates to the advice given, the adviser service or the service or performance of the product provider. If unclear, this must not delay investigation and we will proceed with our own investigation. The complaints manager will review this matter and take the complaint to the provider if appropriate in consultation with you.
The complaints manager will establish the nature and scope of your complaint having due regards to the Financial Conduct Authority’s direction:
- Deal with complaints promptly and fairly
- Give complainants clear replies and, where appropriate, fair redress
It is the firm’s policy to treat all complainants the same, however, eligible complainants are legally defined and have additional rights in law that we must acknowledge and adhere to.
Eligible complainants are those who have a potential claim against a firm based whereby it believes he/she has suffered a financial loss due to poor advice or service that are:
- Private Individuals
- Companies within the EU definition of a microenterprise
- Charities with an income of under £1,000,000
- Trustees of a trust with assets of under £1,000,000
- Professional clients and eligible counterparties where the person is an individual acting for purposes outside his trade, business, craft or profession
The Financial Conduct Authority complaints rules apply to complaints:
- made by, or on behalf of an eligible complainant;
- relating to regulated activity;
- involving an allegation that the complainant has suffered, or may suffer, financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience;
- not resolved by close of business on the day following receipt;
- referred directly to the Ombudsman Service where the complainant and the firm have both consented to the FOS investigation
This will set out clearly the firm’s decision and the reasons for it. If any compensation is offered a clear method of calculation will be shown. We must include details of the Financial Ombudsman Service in the final response if dealing with an eligible complainant and a regulated activity, we will:
- explain that the complainant must refer the matter to the ombudsman within six months of the date of this letter or the right to use this service is lost
A root cause analysis will be undertaken by the firm in the case of any complaint and this will be recorded with the appropriate action having been taken.
Closing a complaint
Where the firm has sent a final response; or where you have indicated in writing acceptance of the firm’s earlier response to confirm that you are satisfied with the findings of the investigations and any resolution.
We will consider the complaint closed once we have issued to you our final response letter.
Financial Ombudsman Service
If our final response is not acceptable to you then you may be able to refer this matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service – full details regarding the Financial Ombudsman Service will be sent to you as part of our response to your complaint, or at any other time if you ask us to do so.
We will co-operate fully with the Ombudsman in resolving any complaints made against us and agree to be bound by any awards made by the Ombudsman.
We undertake to implement promptly any award made in your favour by the Financial Ombudsman Service
Address: The Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR. Monday to Friday – 08:00 to 20:00 and Saturday – 09:00 to 13:00
Contacting the FOS by Telephone
0800 023 4567 – Calls to this number are normally free for people ringing from a “fixed line” phone – but charges may apply if you call from a mobile phone
0300 123 9123 – Calls to this number are charged at the same rate as 01 or 02 numbers on mobile phone tariffs
These numbers may not be available from outside the UK – so please call the Financial Ombudsman from abroad on +44 20 7964 0500
The Financial Ombudsman will be happy to phone you back, if you’re worried about the cost of calling them.
Help and Advice
You can receive free of charge help and advice about any debt issues you have:
The Money Advice Service has information about debt management and offers free of charge advice. Go to: https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en or call 0800 138 7777
Step Change also offers debt advice. Go to https://www.stepchange.org/Howwecanhelpyou/Debtadvice.aspx or call 0800 138 1111