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COAF 1.1 Introduction

COAF 1.1.1G
  1. (1)

    1Paragraph 7 of Schedule 1 to the Act requires the FSA to maintain a complaints scheme for the investigation of complaints arising in connection with the exercise of, or failure to exercise, any of its functions under the Act (other than its legislative functions).

  2. (2)

    The FSA is required to appoint an independent person as Complaints Commissioner to be responsible for the conduct of investigations in accordance with the complaints scheme.

COAF 1.1.2G

The complaints scheme provides that there may be two distinct stages for each complaint. In the first stage, the FSA itself will investigate any complaint that meets the requirements of the complaints scheme (see COAF 1.4 (Coverage and scope of the scheme)) and take whatever action to resolve the matter it thinks appropriate. A complaint will normally only proceed to the second stage if the complainant is dissatisfied with the FSA's determination of his complaint or how it has been handled. This second stage consists of investigation of the complaint by the Complaints Commissioner, followed, wherever he finds for the complainant, by his recommendation to the FSA on the form of redress, if any, that is appropriate in the circumstances.2

COAF 1.1.3G
  1. (1)

    The complaints scheme is made by the FSA in accordance with its obligations under paragraphs 7 and 8 of Schedule 1 to the Act.

  2. (2)

    Where the Act requires the FSA to make a particular arrangement as part of the complaints scheme, this is recognised in the following text by the use of the word "must". In contrast, where a provision in the complaints scheme states that someone "will" do something, this denotes that the FSA is committing itself or the Complaints Commissioner to some action which, though not specifically required by the Act, is nevertheless viewed as necessary to give effect to the intentions of the Act.

  3. (3)

    Each provision in the complaints scheme is, consistent with the style and format of the Handbook, identified by the letter "G". It nevertheless constitutes a definitive statement of the complaints scheme which the FSA is required to maintain.2

COAF 1.1.4G

The complaints scheme has effect from 3 September 2001.

COAF 1.1.5G

In this complaints scheme, "complaint" means any expression of dissatisfaction about the manner in which the FSA has carried out, or failed to carry out, its functions under the Act other than its legislative functions.2

COAF 1.1.6G

The transitional provisions in GEN do not apply to the complaints scheme.

COAF 1.1.7G

Further details of the practical operation of the complaints scheme are available from the office of the FSA's Company Secretary, who may be contacted at 25 The North Colonnade, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HS, Tel No. 020 7066 9870 or by e-mail at