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DISP 1.1 Application and Purpose



Subject to DISP 1.1.1A R, this5 chapter applies to every firm in respect of activities carried on from an establishment maintained by the firm (or its appointed representative) in the United Kingdom, except:

  1. (1)
    1. (a)

      a firm that is exempt under DISP 1.1.7 R;

    2. (b)

      a UCITS qualifier;

    3. (c)

      an authorised professional firm in so far as its non-mainstream regulated activities are concerned; and

    4. (d)

      1a credit union; or

  2. (2)

    in relation to the Society of Lloyd's, members of the Society and managing agents, DISP 1 applies subject to DISP 1.7 (the Society of Lloyd's).

DISP 1.1.1AR

5Where a firm has outsourced activities to a third party processor, DISP 1.1.1 G does not apply to the third party processor when acting as such, but applies to the firm which is taking responsibility for the acts and omissions of the third party processor in respect of the outsourced activities.

DISP 1.1.1BR

33The following rules and guidance in this chapter also apply to every licensee for the purposes of the Consumer Credit Jurisdiction as if it were a firm:

  1. (1)

    DISP 1.1.1B R - DISP 1.1.1E G and DISP 1.1.2 G (Application);

  2. (2)

    DISP 1.2 (Internal complaint handling procedures: general requirements) in relation to complaints about activities of the licensee specified in DISP 2.6.8A R;

  3. (3)

    DISP 1.3 (Internal complaint handling procedures: additional requirements);

  4. (4)

    DISP 1.4 (Time limits for dealing with a complaint); and

  5. (5)

    DISP 1.6 (Cooperation by firms with the ombudsman).

DISP 1.1.1CG

33DISP 1.5.1 R contains a requirement for firms in the Compulsory Jurisdiction to make and retain records of complaints subject to DISP 1.4 - DISP 1.6 for a minimum period of three years from the date of its receipt of a complaint. Licensees may need to keep records of complaints for sufficient time to enable them to provide the Ombudsman with necessary information in the event of a complaint being referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service or to provide the Office of Fair Trading with any information it may require.

DISP 1.1.1DR

33In relation to the Consumer Credit Jurisdiction only, FOS Ltd may dispense with or modify the application of the rules in this chapter in particular cases where it considers it appropriate to do so and is satisfied that:

  1. (1)

    compliance by the licensee with the rules, or with the rules as unmodified, would be unduly burdensome or would not achieve the purpose for which the rules were made; and

  2. (2)

    it would not result in undue risk to the persons whose interests the rules are intended to protect.

DISP 1.1.1EG

33This power is intended to deal with exceptional circumstances, for example, where it is impossible for a licensee to meet the specified time limits, and any dispensation or modification is likely to be rare.


This chapter is also relevant to those who might wish to refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.


Firms are responsible for ensuring their appointed representatives' compliance with DISP 1.

  1. (1)

    1VJ participants are subject to DISP 1, except DISP 1.1.1 G, DISP 1.1.5 R and DISP 1.5(Record keeping and reporting), by contract under the standard terms as if they were firms (see DISP 4.2.2 R). DISP 1.2 applies to VJ participants only in relation to complaints about activities of the VJ participant specified in DISP 2.6.9 R. DISP 1.2 (Internal complaints handling procedures: general requirements) also applies to VJ participants elsewhere in the EEA under the extended jurisdiction set out in DISP 2.7.2 R.

  2. (2)

    1Rules and guidance relating to complaints handling by credit unions are contained in CRED 17.


Except as otherwise specified, references to a "complaint" in this chapter include a complaint which is capable of becoming a relevant new complaint or a relevant transitional complaint.3


A complaint about pre-commencement investment business carried on by a firm which was regulated in respect of that business by a recognised professional body will be handled under the arrangements of that professional body, and is outside the scope of DISP.


  1. (1)

    A firm which does not conduct business with eligible complainants and has no reasonable likelihood of doing so is exempt from DISP 1.2 - DISP 1.7, if:

    1. (a)

      it has notified the FSA in writing that those conditions apply ; and

    2. (b)

      the conditions in fact continue to apply.

  2. (2)

    The exemption takes effect from the date on which the notice was received by the FSA.

  3. (3)

    In (1), conducting business means carrying on any of the activities to which the rules in DISP 2.6 apply with or for persons who are eligible complainants under DISP 2.4.2



DISP 1.1.9G


End of exemption

DISP 1.1.10RRP

A firm which is exempt under DISP 1.1.7 R must notify the FSA in writing2 as soon as reasonably practicable if the conditions in DISP 1.1.7 R no longer apply.

DISP 1.1.11RRP

A firm to which the conditions in DISP 1.1.7 R no longer apply is subject to DISP 1.2 - DISP 1.7.


DISP 1.1.12RRP

The purpose of this chapter is to set out the rules relating to the internal handling of complaints by firms and licensees33, including the procedures which a firm must put in place; the time limits within which a firm must deal with a complaint; the referral of complaints,4 the records of a complaint which a firm must make and retain; and the requirements on a firm to report information about complaints to the FSA. This is to ensure that complaints are handled fairly, effectively and promptly, and resolved at the earliest possible opportunity, minimising the number of unresolved complaints which need to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service. This purpose is consistent with the FSA's consumer protection regulatory objective.