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COAF 1.4 Coverage and scope of the scheme

COAF 1.4.1G
  1. (1)

    The complaints scheme provides a procedure for enquiring into and, if necessary, addressing allegations of misconduct by the FSA arising from the way in which it has carried out or failed to carry out its functions. The complaints scheme covers complaints about the way in which the FSA has acted or omitted to act, including complaints alleging:

    1. (a)

      mistakes and lack of care;

    2. (b)

      unreasonable delay;

    3. (c)

      unprofessional behaviour;

    4. (d)

      bias; and

    5. (e)

      lack of integrity.

  2. (2)


  3. (3)

    To be eligible to make a complaint under the complaints scheme, a person (see COAF 1.2.1 G) must be seeking a remedy (which for this purpose may include an apology, see COAF 1.5.5 G) in respect of some inconvenience, distress or loss which the person has suffered as a result of being directly affected by the FSA's actions or inaction.1

Exclusions from the scheme

COAF 1.4.2G

Each of the following is excluded from the complaints scheme:

  1. (1)

    complaints about the FSA's relationship with its employees;

  2. (2)

    complaints connected with contractual or commercial disputes involving the FSA and not connected to its functions under the Act;1

  3. (3)

    complaints in relation to the performance of the FSA's legislative functions under the Act (including making rules and issuing codes and general guidance); and1

  4. (4)

    complaints about the actions, or inactions, of the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.1

Circumstances under which the FSA will not investigate

COAF 1.4.2AG

1The FSA will not investigate a complaint under the complaints scheme which it reasonably considers amounts to no more than dissatisfaction with the FSA's general policies or with the exercise of, or failure to exercise, a discretion where no unreasonable, unprofessional or other misconduct is alleged.

Complaints that are more appropriately dealt with in another way

COAF 1.4.3G

The FSA will not investigate a complaint under the complaints scheme which it reasonably considers could have been, or would be, more appropriately dealt with in another way (for example by referring the matter to the Tribunal or by the institution of other legal proceedings).1

Investigations that may be deferred

COAF 1.4.4G

A complaint which is connected with, or which arises from, any form of continuing action by the FSA will not normally be investigated by either the FSA or the Complaints Commissioner until the complainant has exhausted the procedures and remedies under the Act which are relevant to that action. An investigation may be commenced before the completion of those procedures if, in the exceptional circumstances of the case, it would not be reasonable to expect the complainant to await the conclusion of the FSA's action.

COAF 1.4.5G


Time limits

COAF 1.4.6G

Complaints should be made within 12 months of the date on which the complainant first became aware of the circumstances giving rise to the complaint. Complaints made later than this will be investigated under the complaints scheme only if the complainant can show reasonable grounds for the delay.


COAF 1.4.7G

The FSA will not make any charge to complainants for the operation of2 the complaints scheme.