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DISP 1.6 Complaints time limit rules

Keeping the complainant informed

DISP 1.6.1R

On receipt of a complaint, a respondent must:

  1. (1)

    send the complainant a prompt written acknowledgement providing early reassurance that it has received the complaint and is dealing with it; and

  2. (2)

    ensure the complainant is kept informed thereafter of the progress of the measures being taken for the complaint's resolution.

Final or other response within eight weeks

DISP 1.6.2R

The respondent must, by the end of eight weeks after its receipt of the complaint, send the complainant:

  1. (1)

    a 'final response', being a written response from the respondent which:37

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    1. (a)

      accepts the complaint and, where appropriate, offers redress or remedial action; or

    2. (b)

      offers redress or remedial action without accepting the complaint; or

    3. (c)

      rejects the complaint and gives reasons for doing so;

    and which:

    1. (d)

      encloses a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service's standard explanatory leaflet;

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    2. (da)

      provides the website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service;48

    3. (e)

      informs the complainant that if he remains dissatisfied with the respondent's response, he may now refer his complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service; and48

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    4. (f)

      indicates whether or not the respondent consents to waive the relevant time limits in DISP 2.8.2 R or DISP 2.8.7 R (Was the complaint referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service in time?) by including the appropriate wording set out in DISP 1 Annex 3R; or48

  2. (2)

    a written response which:

    1. (a)

      explains why it is not in a position to make a final response and indicates when it expects to be able to provide one;

    2. (b)

      informs the complainant that he may now refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service;

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    3. (ba)

      indicates whether or not the respondent consents to waive the relevant time limits in DISP 2.8.2 R or DISP 2.8.7 R (Was the complaint referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service in time?) if it becomes apparent that the complaint has been made or is referred outside those time limits;48

    4. (c)

      encloses a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service standard explanatory leaflet; and48

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    5. (d)

      provides the website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service.48

[Note: article 13 of the ADR Directive]

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DISP 1.6.3G

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Complainant's written acceptance

DISP 1.6.4R

DISP 1.6.2 R does not apply if the complainant has already indicated in writing acceptance of a response by the respondent, provided that the response:

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  1. (1)

    informed the complainant how to pursue his complaint with the respondent if he remains dissatisfied; 26

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  2. (2)

    referred to the ultimate availability of the Financial Ombudsman Service if he remains dissatisfied with the respondent's response;26

  3. (3)

    enclosed a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service standard explanatory leaflet;48

  4. (4)

    provided the website address of the Financial Ombudsman Service; and48

  5. (5)

    indicated whether or not the respondent consents to waive the relevant time limits in DISP 2.8.2 R or DISP 2.8.7 R (Was the complaint referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service in time?) by including the appropriate wording set out in DISP 1 Annex 3 R.48

DISP 1.6.5R

[deleted]37

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DISP 1.6.6R

[deleted]37

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DISP 1.6.6AG

26The information regarding the Financial Ombudsman Service required to be provided in responses sent under the complaints time limit rules (DISP 1.6.2 R and DISP 1.6.4 R)37 should be set out clearly, comprehensibly, in an easily accessible way and 48prominently within the text of those responses.

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[Note: article 13 of the ADR Directive]

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Speed and quality of response

DISP 1.6.7G

It is expected that within eight weeks of their receipt, almost all complaints to a respondent will have been substantively addressed by it through a final response or response as described in DISP 1.6.4 R.37

DISP 1.6.8G

When assessing a respondent's response to a complaint, the FCA may have regard to a number of factors, including, the quality of response, as against the complaints resolution rules, as well as the speed with which it was made.