Content Options

Content Options

View Options

DISP 1.1 Purpose and application



637This chapter contains rules and guidance on how respondents should deal promptly and fairly with complaints in respect of business carried on from establishments in the United Kingdom or by certain branches of firms in the EEA. It is also relevant to those who may wish to make a complaint or refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service.



Details of how this chapter applies to each type of respondent are set out below. For this purpose, respondents include:

  1. (1)

    persons carrying on regulated activities and covered by the Compulsory Jurisdiction (firms);

  2. (2)

    persons covered by the Consumer Credit Jurisdiction (licensees); and

  3. (3)

    persons who have opted in to the Voluntary Jurisdiction (VJ participants).

Application to firms

  1. (1)

    This chapter applies to a firm in respect of complaints from eligible complainants concerning activities carried on from an establishment maintained by it or its appointed representative in the United Kingdom.

  2. (2)

    For complaints relating to the MiFID business of a firm, the complaints handling rules and the complaints record rule:

    1. (a)

      apply to complaints from retail clients and do not apply to complaints from eligible complainants who are not retail clients;

    2. (b)

      also apply in respect of activities carried on from a branch of a UK firm in another EEA State; and

    3. (c)

      do not apply in respect of activities carried on from a branch of an EEA firm in the United Kingdom.


Where a firm has outsourced activities to a third party processor, DISP 1.1.3 R 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.


This chapter does not apply to:

  1. (1)

    a UCITS qualifier;

  2. (2)

    a credit union; and

  3. (3)

    an authorised professional firm in respect of expressions of dissatisfaction about its non-mainstream regulated activities


Analogous obligations relevant to credit unions are set out in CRED 17.


This chapter applies to the Society, members of the Society and managing agents, subject to the Lloyd's complaint rules.


An insurance intermediary, that is not also an insurer, must have in place and operate appropriate and effective procedures for registering and responding to complaints from a person who is not an eligible complainant.

[Note: article 10 of the Insurance Mediation Directive]

DISP 1.1.9G

A complaint about pre-commencement investment business which was regulated by a recognised professional body will be handled under the arrangements of that professional body and is outside the scope of this sourcebook

DISP 1.1.10RRP

In relation to a firm's obligations under this chapter, references to a complaint also include an expression of dissatisfaction which is capable of becoming a relevant new complaint or[deleted] a relevant transitional complaint.


FSAVC Review

DISP 1.1.11RRP

Where the subject matter of a complaint is subject to a review directly or indirectly under the terms of the policy statement for the review of specific categories of FSAVC business issued by the FSA on 28 February 2000, the complaints resolution rules, the complaints time limit rules, the complaints record rule and the complaints reporting rules will apply only if the complaint is about the outcome of the review.


DISP 1.1.12RRP
  1. (1)

    A firm falling within the Compulsory Jurisdiction which does not conduct business with eligible complainants and has no reasonable likelihood of doing so, can, by written notification to the FSA , claim exemption from the rules relating to the funding of the Financial Ombudsman Service, and from the remainder of this chapter.

  2. (2)

    Notwithstanding (1), the complaints handling rules and complaints record rule will continue to apply in respect of complaints concerning MiFID business.

  3. (3)

    The exemption takes effect from the date on which the written notice is received by the FSA and will cease to apply when the conditions relating to the exemption no longer apply.

DISP 1.1.13GRP

SUP 15.6 refers to and contains requirements regarding the steps that firms must take to ensure that information provided to the FSA is accurate and complete. Those requirements apply to information submitted to the FSA under this chapter.

Application to licensees and VJ participants

DISP 1.1.14R

This chapter (except the complaints record rule and the complaints reporting rules) applies to licensees for complaints from eligible complainants.

DISP 1.1.15RRP

This chapter (except the complaints record rule and the complaints reporting rules) applies to VJ participants for complaints from eligible complainants as part of the standard terms.

DISP 1.1.16GRP

Although licensees and VJ participants are not required to comply with the complaints record rule, it is in their interest to retain records of complaints so that these can be used to assist the Financial Ombudsman Service should it be necessary.

DISP 1.1.17R

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

  1. (1)

    compliance by the licensee with the rules 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 were intended to protect.

DISP 1.1.18G

This power is intended to deal with exceptional circumstances, for example, where it is not possible for a licensee to meet the specified time limits, and any dispensation or modification is likely to be rare.

Outsourcing of complaint handling

DISP 1.1.19GRP
  1. (1)

    This chapter does not prevent:

    1. (a)

      the use by a respondent of a third party administrator to handle or resolve complaints (or both); or

    2. (b)

      two or more respondents arranging a one-stop shop for handling or resolving complaints (or both) under a service level agreement.

  2. (2)

    These arrangements do not affect respondents' obligations as set out in DISP or the provisions relating to outsourcing by a firm set out in SYSC 8 and SYSC 13.

DISP 1.1.20GRP

Further guidance on the application of this chapter is set out in the table in DISP 1 Annex 2.