Making a complaint
Our aim is always to provide our customers with a first-class service. However, we are aware that, occasionally, it is possible that we may fail to meet your expectations. If for any reason we have not met your expectations, please let us know as soon as possible, by calling our main office telephone 01494 450011 or write to our Complaints Officer: Jonathan Vickers, MRIB House, Amersham Hill, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire HP13 6NU.
This document sets out our complaints procedure, and has been designed to meet the requirements and guidance of our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). It’s available via our website and we will provide a copy on request and when acknowledging a complaint.
The Nature of a Complaint
We regard a "complaint" as any expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, about the manner in which we have carried out our functions.
Any complaint, whether made in writing or verbally, is immediately referred to our Complaints Officer. We also record any complaint we receive. Our Complaints Officer is responsible for ensuring that we thoroughly investigate any complaints.
How we handle your complaint
Your complaint will be investigated by a senior individual within the business who has sufficient competence to deal with the complaint and who has not been involved in the matter which is the subject of the complaint.
If a complaint is made against the individual who usually deals with complaints then another suitable senior individual will conduct an independent investigation.
If the complaint is about another party, such as an insurer with whom we have placed business, we will refer details of the complaint to the third party. We will advise you of this in writing, giving you the contact details for the other firm.
We will aim to make a final response to you as soon as is practicable, and keep you reasonably informed as to progress.
As soon as we receive your complaint
We will respond to your complaint as quickly as possible and within five business days at the latest. We will give you the name or job title of the Investigating Officer handling the complaint and let you have a copy of this procedure if you have not already received one.
We will deal with your complaint as quickly as possible and will keep you notified on a regular basis of our progress.
If the complaint can be resolved to your satisfaction within five business days, our acknowledgement letter will also outline the result of our investigation, and a summary of the resolution of the complaint.
If we cannot resolve the complaint within eight weeks
Some complaints can be complex or require us to obtain more information. If, therefore, it has not been possible to respond fully to you within eight weeks then we will explain the position fully and undertake to advise you when your complaint is likely to be resolved.
By the end of that eight week period we very much hope that your complaint will have been resolved. If it has not been resolved by then we will let you know that you may refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you are dissatisfied with the delay, and enclose a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service's explanatory leaflet. Full details concerning time limits relating to referrals to the Ombudsman can be found in this leaflet.
Immediately on completion of our investigation the Investigating Officer will write to you notifying you of the outcome of our investigation, and the nature and terms of any settlement (if applicable). When we give you our final response we will try and explain to you all the reasons why we have come to our conclusion. If we feel that redress is appropriate we will show how we have calculated this and we will have based it upon what we believe is fair and appropriate to your complaint in accordance with guidance issued by the Financial Conduct Authority.
At the same time we will send you a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service's explanatory leaflet unless you have already received a copy. This will enable you to refer the matter to the Ombudsman should you be dissatisfied with our decision.
Reporting to the Financial Conduct Authority
You may be eligible to refer a complaint to the Service if you are:
- a consumer (a person acting for purposes which are outside their trade, business, craft or profession)
- a micro-enterprise (a business which employs less than 10 people and has a turnover or annual balance sheet of less than €2m)
- a small business (with an annual turnover of below £6.5m, and fewer than 50 employees or with an annual balance sheet total of below £5 million
- a charity which has an annual income of less than £6.5 million
- a trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £5 million
In addition to meeting one of the above criteria you must be or have been a customer of the firm and the complaint must arise out of matters relating to your custom.
We report twice a year to the Financial Conduct Authority on any complaints we receive and how we have dealt with them. This enables the Regulator to check that we have handled matters in accordance with its requirements.
The Financial Ombudsman Service contact details are:
Financial Ombudsman Service
We are covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) for our insurance mediation activities. You may be entitled to compensation from the scheme if we cannot meet our obligations. This depends on the type of business and the circumstances of the claim. Further information about compensation scheme arrangements is available from the FSCS on 0800 678 1100 (free phone) or 020 7741 4100 or at www.fscs.org.uk
Please be assured that we will make your complaint a priority – our culture is one of continuous improvement and feedback is part of the learning process.