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DISP 1.4 Complaints resolution rules

Investigating, assessing and resolving complaints6


Once a complaint has been received by a respondent, it must:

  1. (1)

    investigate the complaint competently, diligently and impartially, obtaining additional information as necessary;59

  2. (2)

    assess fairly, consistently and promptly:

    1. (a)

      the subject matter of the complaint;

    2. (b)

      whether the complaint should be upheld;

    3. (c)

      what remedial action or redress (or both) may be appropriate;

    4. (d)

      if appropriate, whether it has reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another respondent may be solely or jointly responsible for the matter alleged in the complaint;

taking into account all relevant factors;

  1. (3)

    offer redress or remedial action when it decides this is appropriate;

  2. (4)

    explain to the complainant promptly and, in a way that is fair, clear and not misleading, its assessment of the complaint, its decision on it, and any offer of remedial action or redress; and

  3. (5)

    comply promptly with any offer of remedial action or redress accepted by the complainant.


Factors that may be relevant in the assessment of a complaint under DISP 1.4.1R (2) include the following:

  1. (1)

    all the evidence available and the particular circumstances of the complaint;

  2. (2)

    similarities with other complaints received by the respondent;

  3. (3)

    relevant guidance8 published by the FCA , other relevant regulators, the Financial Ombudsman Service or former schemes; and

  4. (4)

    appropriate analysis of decisions by the Financial Ombudsman Service concerning similar complaints received by the respondent (procedures for which are described in DISP 1.3.2A G).59


The respondent should aim to resolve complaints at the earliest possible opportunity, minimising the number of unresolved complaints which need to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Co-operating with the Financial Ombudsman Service


Where a complaint against a respondent is referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service, the respondent must cooperate fully with the Financial Ombudsman Service and comply promptly with any settlements or awards made by it.


Mortgage endowment complaints


DISP App 1 contains guidance to respondents on the approach to assessing financial loss and appropriate redress where a respondent upholds a complaint concerning the sale of an endowment policy for the purposes of repaying a mortgage.

Payment protection insurance complaints


DISP App 3 sets out the approach which respondents should use in assessing complaints relating to the sale of payment protection contracts and determining appropriate redress where a complaint is upheld.4 It also requires firms to send a written communication to complainants in certain circumstances (see DISP App 3.11).7