Complaints against UK financial services regulators
Complaints against UK financial services regulators

The following Financial Services practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Complaints against UK financial services regulators
  • Background to the Complaints Scheme
  • The Complaints Scheme
  • What does the Complaints Scheme cover?
  • What doesn't the Complaints Scheme cover?
  • Time limit
  • Handling of complaints at local level
  • The investigation process
  • Stage 1—Investigation by the relevant regulator
  • Stage 2—Investigation by the Complaints Commissioner

Complaints against UK financial services regulators

Background to the Complaints Scheme

Part 6 of the Financial Services Act 2012 (FSA 2012) requires the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), together known as the 'regulators', to make arrangements for the investigation of complaints against them. These arrangements are known as the ‘Complaints Scheme’, as set out in detail in the FCA and PRA/Bank of England joint publication ‘Complaints against the regulators: The Complaints Scheme’ (updated March 2016). The regulators are also required under Part 6 to appoint (with the approval of HM Treasury) an independent person to be responsible for the conduct of investigations of complaints within the parameters of the Complaints Scheme. This independent person is known as the 'Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner' (the ‘Complaints Commissioner’). See the Complaints Commissioner’s website here.

The Complaints Commissioner and their staff must not be employees of the regulators and are required to act independently of, and without favouring, the regulators.

The previous Financial Services Authority (FSA) scheme had been in operation for over a decade and was part of the FSA Handbook (the part known as COAF). The new complaints scheme is no longer part of the PRA Rulebook or the FCA Handbook, although it has retained a very similar approach to the former complaints scheme.

The Complaints Scheme provides for two distinct stages:

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