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).
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
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.
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
The complaints scheme has effect from 3 September 2001.