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DISP 1.1 Application and Purpose

Application

DISP 1.1.1 G RP

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:

5
  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 1.1.1A R

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 1.1.1B R

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 1.1.1C G

33 DISP 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 1.1.1D R

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 1.1.1E G

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.

DISP 1.1.2 G RP

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

DISP 1.1.3 R RP

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

DISP 1.1.4 R RP
  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.

DISP 1.1.5 R RP

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

DISP 1.1.6 G RP

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.

Exemption

DISP 1.1.7 R RP
  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 1.1.8 R RP

[deleted]

DISP 1.1.9 G

[deleted]

End of exemption

DISP 1.1.10 R RP

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 1.1.11 R RP

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

Purpose

DISP 1.1.12 R RP

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.

DISP 1.2 Internal complaint handling procedures: general requirements

Requirement to have internal complaint handling procedures

DISP 1.2.1 R RP

A firm, A,4 must have in place and operate appropriate and effective internal complaint handling procedures (which must be written down) for:

  1. (1)

    handling any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written, and whether justified or not, from or on behalf of an eligible complainant about A's4 provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service; and4

    4
  2. (2)

    referring to another firm, B, expressions of dissatisfaction about B's services, if A markets (or has marketed) B's financial services or if A's financial services are marketed by B.4

DISP 1.2.1A R

3If the expression of dissatisfaction is from, or on behalf of, a person who is not an eligible complainant, and relates to insurance mediation activity carried on by an insurance intermediary, then unless the insurance intermediary is an insurer, the insurance intermediary must have in place and operate appropriate and effective procedures for registering, and responding to, the expression of dissatisfaction.

DISP 1.2.2 R RP

An eligible complainant is a person who would be eligible to refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, as defined in DISP 2.4

DISP 1.2.3 G RP

Firms are not obliged to restrict their internal complaint handling procedures to expressions of dissatisfaction from eligible complainants. They may, if they wish, also establish procedures for handling complaints from other customers.

DISP 1.2.4 G RP

The internal complaint handling procedures should provide for:

  1. (1)

    receiving complaints;

  2. (2)

    responding to complaints;

  3. (2A)

    referring complaints to other firms;4

  4. (3)

    the appropriate investigation of complaints; and

  5. (4)

    notifying complainants of their right to go the Financial Ombudsman Service where relevant.

DISP 1.2.5 G RP

When deciding what constitutes an appropriate complaint handling procedure (see DISP 1.2.1 R), a firm should have regard to:

  1. (1)

    the type of business it undertakes;

  2. (2)

    its size and organisational structure;

  3. (3)

    the nature and complexity of the complaints it is likely to receive; and

  4. (4)

    the likely number of complaints it will receive and have to investigate.

DISP 1.2.6 G
  1. (1)

    DISP 1.2.1 R does not prevent the use of a third party administrator for the purposes of handling complaints.4

  2. (2)

    It is acceptable for two or more firms to set up arrangements, such as a one-stop shop for complaints handling under a service level agreement, provided that this still secures for complainants an equivalent standard of service and, if appropriate, redress. Any such arrangements should be made clear to an eligible complainant.4

DISP 1.2.7 G

In establishing their internal complaint handling procedures, firms may wish to take account of BS ISO 10002:2004 'Quality management. Customer satisfaction. Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations'. This is available from BSI. To purchase copies contact them directly on 020 8996 9001 or orders@bsi-global.com.

DISP 1.2.8 G

The internal complaint handling procedures should enable complainants to make a complaint by any reasonable means (for example, letter, telephone, e-mail or in person).

Publicising the procedures

DISP 1.2.9 R

A firm must:

  1. (1)

    Refer eligible complainants1 in writing to the availability of its internal complaint handling procedures at, or immediately after, the point of sale;

  2. (2)

    publish details of its internal complaint handling procedures, supply a copy on request to an eligible complainant1, and supply a copy automatically to the complainant when it receives a complaint from an eligible complainant1 (unless the complaint is resolved by close of business on the next business day); and

  3. (3)

    display in each of its branches or sales offices to which eligible complainants have access a notice indicating that it is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

DISP 1.2.10 G

The requirements in DISP 1.2.9 R(1)-(3) relate to the internal complaints procedures required by DISP 1.2.1 R.

DISP 1.2.11 G

In order to comply with DISP 1.2.9 R(1), a firm may include reference to its complaint handling procedures in contractual documentation, for example:3

2 3
  1. (1)

    (where the firm is subject to the requirements in COB) in a terms of business letter, key features document or client agreement;3

  2. (2)

    (where the firm is subject to the requirements in ICOB), as part of status disclosure (see ICOB 4.2 and ICOB 8.3), in a policy summary or policy document; or3

  3. (3)

    (where the firm is subject to the requirements in MCOB) in an initial disclosure document or offer document.3

DISP 1.2.12 G

Where a complaint is also subject to the more detailed requirements in DISP 1.4 - DISP 1.6, the firm may send out a copy of its complaint handling procedures (as required by DISP 1.2.9 R (2)) at the same time as the acknowledgement required by DISP 1.4.1 R.

DISP 1.2.13 G

For the purposes of satisfying DISP 1.2.9 R(2) a firm may wish to produce a leaflet which summarises its internal complaint handling procedures.

DISP 1.2.14 G

Firms' literature and correspondence relating to complaints should be in clear and plain language.

DISP 1.2.15 G

A firm may also, if it wishes to do so, disclose the fact that it is covered by the Financial Ombudsman Service by including the Financial Ombudsman Service logo in any marketing literature or correspondence directed at eligible complainants, provided that it does so in a way which is not misleading.

Particular matters for which procedures must make provision

DISP 1.2.16 R

A firm's internal complaint handling procedures under DISP 1.2.1 R must make provision for:

  1. (1)

    complaints to be investigated by an employee of sufficient competence who, where appropriate, was not directly involved in the matter which is the subject of the complaint;

  2. (2)

    the person charged with responding to complaints to have the authority to settle complaints (including the offering of redress where appropriate) or to have ready access to someone who has the necessary authority; and

  3. (3)

    responses to complaints to address adequately the subject matter of the complaint and, where a complaint is upheld, to offer appropriate redress.

Providing compensation

DISP 1.2.17 R

Where a firm decides that redress is appropriate, a firm must provide a complainant with fair compensation for any acts or omissions for which it was responsible and comply with any offer of redress which the complainant accepts.

DISP 1.2.18 G

In deciding whether or not to accept a complaint and what would be appropriate redress, firms may wish to consider any relevant guidance published by the FSA, the Financial Ombudsman Service or by any of the former schemes.

DISP 1.2.19 G

Appropriate redress will not always involve financial redress. It may, for example, simply involve an apology. Where financial redress is deemed appropriate, it may include a reasonable rate of interest.

DISP 1.2.20 G

DISP App 2 contains guidance to firms on the approach to assessing financial loss and appropriate compensation in circumstances where a firm regards a complaint in relation to the sale of an endowment policy (which is sold for the purposes of repaying a mortgage) as justified.

Using the procedures

DISP 1.2.21 R

A firm must take reasonable steps to ensure that all relevant employees (including employees of appointed representatives) are aware of the firm's internal complaint handling procedures and must endeavour to ensure that they act in accordance with them.

DISP 1.2.22 R

A firm must put in place appropriate management controls and take reasonable steps to ensure that in complying with DISP 1.2.1 R it handles complaints fairly, consistently and promptly and that it identifies and remedies any recurring or systemic problems, as well as any specific problem identified by a complaint.

DISP 1.3 Internal complaint handling procedures: additional requirements

DISP 1.3.1 R RP

DISP 1.4 - DISP 1.6contain additional requirements, concerning time limits, record keeping and reporting and cooperation with the Ombudsman, for handling complaints, unless DISP 1.3.3 R applies.

DISP 1.3.2 G RP

DISP 1.4 - DISP 1.6 also apply to any complaints that are capable of becoming relevant new complaints or relevant transitional complaints, unless DISP 1.3.3 R applies.2

DISP 1.3.3 R RP

DISP 1.4 - DISP 1.51 do not apply:

  1. (1)

    where the firm has taken reasonable steps to determine, and has determined, that the complaint:

    1. (a)

      is not made by, or on behalf of, an eligible complainant; or

    2. (b)

      does not relate to an activity of that firm (or of any other firm with whom that firm has some connection in marketing financial services)3 which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service; or

    3. (c)

      does not involve an allegation that the complainant has suffered, or may suffer, financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience; or

  2. (2)

    where the complaint has been resolved by close of business on the business day following its receipt.

DISP 1.3.3A R

1In order to comply with DISP 1.3.3 R(2), when a complaint is received on any day other than a business day, or after close of business on a business day, a firm can treat the complaint as received on the next business day.

DISP 1.3.4 G

Under the Ombudsman Transitional Order and the Mortgage and General Insurance Complaints Transitional Order, a complaint received by a firm, either before or after commencement, relating to an act or omission relating to business which was not a regulated activity at the time of the matter complained of is capable of becoming a relevant new complaint or a relevant transitional complaint. A firm is expected to handle such complaints in accordance with DISP 1.2

DISP 1.3.5 G

Financial loss includes consequential or prospective loss, in addition to actual loss. For example, a complaint may involve an allegation that the complainant may suffer financial loss which has not yet crystallised because of the type of product involved (for example, pensions, endowments etc).

DISP 1.4 Time limits for dealing with a complaint

Written acknowledgement within five business days

DISP 1.4.1 R RP

A firm must send a written acknowledgement of a complaint to the complainant3 within five business days of its receipt, giving the name or job title of the individual handling the complaint for the firm (together with details of the firm's internal complaint handling procedures).

DISP 1.4.2 G RP

A firm which is able to provide a final response within five business days of receipt of a complaint may combine its acknowledgement of the complaint with the final response. (For complaints which are subject to the FSAVC review, see DISP 1.4.15 R to DISP 1.4.17 G.)

DISP 1.4.3 G RP

A firm should aim to resolve complaints at the earliest possible stage.

Early resolution of complaints

DISP 1.4.3A R

1 DISP 1.4.4 R to DISP 1.4.6 R do not apply if the complainant has already indicated in writing acceptance of a response by the firm, provided that the response informed the complainant how to pursue his complaint if he remained dissatisfied.

DISP 1.4.3B G

1 DISP 1.4.3A R recognises that the complainant may accept the firm's response at any time during the complaint process and that this may resolve the complaint, even when the firm has not issued a final response. The firm's response need not have referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service, but should have explained how the complaint would be progressed by the firm if the complainant remained dissatisfied.

Final or holding response within four weeks

DISP 1.4.4 R RP

A firm must, within four weeks of receiving a complaint, (unless DISP 1.4.3A R1 or DISP 1.4.9 R applies) send the complainant either:

  1. (1)

    a final response; or

  2. (2)

    a holding response, which explains why it is not yet in a position to resolve the complaint and indicates when the firm will make further contact (which must be within eight weeks of receipt of the complaint).

Final or other response within eight weeks

DISP 1.4.5 G RP

A firm must, by the end of eight weeks after its receipt of a complaint, (unless DISP 1.4.3A R1 or DISP 1.4.9 R applies) send the complainant either:

  1. (1)

    a final response; or

  2. (2)

    a response which:

    1. (a)

      explains that the firm is still not in a position to make a final response, gives reasons for the further delay and indicates when it expects to be able to provide a final response; and

    2. (b)

      informs the complainant that he may refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if he is dissatisfied with the delay and encloses a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service's explanatory leaflet.

DISP 1.4.6 G RP

2[deleted]1

DISP 1.4.7 R

[deleted]1

DISP 1.4.8 G

[deleted]1

Firms with two-stage complaints procedures

DISP 1.4.9 R

Where, within eight weeks of receiving a complaint, the firm sends the complainant a written response which:

  1. (1)

    offers redress (whether or not it accepts the complaint) or rejects the complaint and gives reasons for doing so;

  2. (2)

    informs the complainant how to pursue his complaint with the firm if he remains dissatisfied;

  3. (3)

    refers to the ultimate availability of the Financial Ombudsman Service if he remains dissatisfied with the firm's response; and

  4. (4)

    indicates that it will regard the complaint as closed if it does not receive a reply within eight weeks;

the firm is not obliged to continue to comply with DISP 1.4.4 R or DISP 1.4.5 G unless the complainant indicates that he remains dissatisfied, in which case, the obligation to comply with DISP 1.4.5 G resumes.

DISP 1.4.10 R

If the complainant takes more than a week to reply to a written response of the kind described in DISP 1.4.9 R, the additional time in excess of a week will not count for the purposes of the time limits in DISP 1.4.4 R - DISP 1.4.6 R.

DISP 1.4.11 G
  1. (1)

    DISP 1.4.9 R caters for the situation where a firm's complaints procedures provide for a complainant who is dissatisfied with the firm's response to refer the complaint back to the firm again or to the firm's head office before a final response is issued.

  2. (2)

    Such firms are subject to the time limits in DISP 1.4.4 R to DISP 1.4.6 R in the same way as any other firm. However, DISP 1.4.9 R recognises that some complainants may never respond to a firm or may take a long time to do so.

  3. (3)

    Provided that the firm has sent a letter which complies with the conditions in DISP 1.4.9 R within eight weeks of receiving the complaint:

    1. (a)

      if the complainant does not reply at all, the firm is not required to send a final response;

    2. (b)

      if the complainant does not reply within eight weeks of the firm's letter, DISP 1.5.7 R(3) enables the firm to treat the complaint as a closed complaint for the purposes of the reporting requirement in DISP 1.5.4 R;

    3. (c)

      if the complainant does reply (within or after eight weeks), the firm is required to continue to comply with DISP 1.4.5 G, and the time limits in DISP 1.4.5 G therefore resume. But DISP 1.4.10 R allows the firm to discount, for the purposes of the time limits in DISP 1.4.4 R to DISP 1.4.6 R, any time in excess of a week taken by the complainant to reply.

  4. (4)

    The FSA expects that firms operating a two-stage complaints procedure will wish to provide complainants with easy access to the second stage of the process (for example, by referring complaints on to the next stage for them if they remain dissatisfied).

The final response

DISP 1.4.12 R

When a firm sends a complainant its final response, the final response must:

  1. (1)

    inform the complainant that he may refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if he is dissatisfied with the final response and that he must do so within six months; and

  2. (2)

    enclose a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service's explanatory leaflet (unless it has already done so under DISP 1.4.5 G(2)(b)).

DISP 1.4.13 G

Copies of the Financial Ombudsman Service's explanatory leaflet may be reproduced under licence or can be obtained from the Financial Ombudsman Service.

DISP 1.4.14 G

Under DISP 1.4.5 G and DISP 1.4.6 R:

  1. (1)

    a complainant can refer his complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if he receives a final response with which he is dissatisfied or the firm has had at least eight weeks to resolve the complaint and has failed to do so in that time; the complainant may decide whether to give the firm more time before exercising any right he may have to refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service;

  2. (2)

    the six month time limit within which a complainant must refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service begins at the date when the final response is sent by the firm.

Complaints subject to the FSAVC review

DISP 1.4.15 R

DISP 1.4.1 R to DISP 1.4.14 G and DISP 1.5.1 R and DISP 1.5.4 R do not apply where the 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.

DISP 1.4.16 R

Where DISP 1.4.15 R applies, the firm must, if the complainant remains dissatisfied on completion of that review, treat that expression of dissatisfaction as a complaint and comply with DISP 1.4.1 R, DISP 1.4.14 G, DISP 1.5.1 R and DISP 1.5.4 R.

DISP 1.4.17 G

The effect of DISP 1.4.15 R is to relieve the firm of the obligation to comply with the requirements and time limits for replying to complainants, and the record-keeping and reporting requirements in DISP 1.5.1 R and DISP 1.5.4 R, where a complaint is subject to the FSAVC review. However, if a complainant remains dissatisfied with the outcome of the review, DISP 1.4.16 R requires the firm to treat this as a complaint and comply with these requirements just as it would in respect of any other complaint. Firms are therefore required to record and report such complaints only where they receive a complaint about the outcome of the review.

3Referring complaints

DISP 1.4.18 R
  1. (1)

    3A firm which has reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another firm may be solely responsible for the fault alleged in a complaint may refer the complaint to that other firm, but if it does so it must:

    1. (a)

      refer the complaint promptly and in any event within five business days of the date on which it became satisfied that such other firm may be responsible for the subject matter of the complaint;

    2. (b)

      make the referral using a durable medium; and

    3. (c)

      inform the complainant of the referral by way of a final response and include the other firm's contact details.

  2. (2)

    3A firm which has reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another firm may be jointly responsible for the fault alleged in a complaint, may refer the complaint to that other firm but if it does so it must:

    1. (a)

      refer the complaint promptly and in any event with five business days of the date on which it became satisfied that such other firm may be jointly responsible for the subject matter of the complaint;

    2. (b)

      make the referral on a durable medium;

    3. (c)

      at the same time inform the complainant of the referral and include the other firm's contact details; and

    4. (d)

      comply with the obligations in DISP as to the investigation of that part of the complaint that is the firm's responsibility and, as soon as possible, inform the complainant of the outcome by a final response.

3Dealing with a referred complaint

DISP 1.4.19 R

3When a firm receives a complaint referred to it under DISP 1.4.18 R, the complaint is treated for the purposes of DISP as if made directly to that firm, and as if received by it when the referral was received.

DISP 1.4.20 G

3On receiving a complaint referred by another firm, the standard time limits will apply from the date on which the firm receives the referral. In particular, DISP 1.4.1 R requires the firm to send a written acknowledgement to the complainant within five business days. A firm should copy this acknowledgement to the firm which made the referral.

DISP 1.5 Record keeping and reporting

Making and retaining records of complaints

DISP 1.5.1 R RP

A firm must 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 the complaint.

DISP 1.5.2 G RP

The records required by DISP 1.5.1 R are for the purposes of monitoring by the FSA and also to ensure that the firm is able to cooperate, as necessary, with the Financial Ombudsman Service. They should include:

  1. (1)

    the name of the complainant;

  2. (2)

    the substance of the complaint;

    4
  3. (3)

    any correspondence between the firm and the complainant, including details of any redress offered by the firm; and4

    4
  4. (4)

    documentation relating to the referral of a complaint under DISP 1.4.18 R.4

DISP 1.5.3 G

DISP 4.2.3 R covers record keeping by VJ participants.

Reporting complaints to the FSA

DISP 1.5.4 R RP

A firm must provide the FSA, twice a year, with a report in the format set out in DISP 1 Annex 1R which contains (for the relevant reporting period) information about:2

  1. (1)

    the total number of complaints subject to DISP 1.4 to DISP 1.6 received by the firm, broken down according to the categories and in respect of each of the generic product types described in DISP 1 Annex 1R which are relevant to the firm;2

  2. (2)

    the total number of complaints subject to DISP 1.4 - DISP 1.6 closed by the firm:

    1. (a)

      within four weeks or less of receipt;

    2. (b)

      within four to eight weeks of receipt; and

    3. (c)

      more than eight weeks after receipt;

      3
  3. (3)

    the total number of complaints subject to DISP 1.4 - DISP 1.6:3

    1. (a)

      upheld by the firm in the reporting period;3

    2. (b)

      that the firm knows have been referred to, and accepted by, the FOS in the reporting period; 35

    3. (c)

      outstanding at the beginning of the reporting period; and35

    4. (d)

      outstanding at the end of the reporting period; and5

  4. (4)

    the total amount of redress paid in respect of complaints subject to DISP 1.4 to DISP 1.6 during the reported period.3

DISP 1.5.5 G RP

For the purpose of DISP 1.5.4 R, upon completing the return, the firm should note that:3

3
  1. (1)

    Where a complaint could fall into more than one category, the complaint should be recorded in the category which the firm considers to form the main part of the complaint.

  2. (2)

    Where a complaint has been upheld under DISP 1.5.4 R (3)(a), a firm should report any complaints to which it has given a final response which accepts the complaint, and, where appropriate, offers redress, even if the redress offered is disputed by the complainant. Where a complaint is upheld in part, a firm should treat the whole complaint as upheld for reporting purposes. Where a firm rejects a complaint, yet chooses to make an ex-gratia payment to the complainant, the complaint should be recorded as 'rejected'.3

  3. (3)

    Where a firm reports on the amount of redress paid under DISP 1.5.4 R (4), redress should be interpreted to include an amount paid, or cost borne, by the firm, where a cash value can be readily identified, and should include:3

    1. (a)

      amounts paid for distress and inconvenience;3

    2. (b)

      a free transfer out to another provider which transfer would normally be paid for;3

    3. (c)

      ex-gratia payments and goodwill gestures;3

    4. (d)

      interest on delayed settlements;3

    5. (e)

      waiver of an excess on an insurance policy; and3

    6. (f)

      payments to put the consumer back into the position the consumer should have been in had the act or omission not occurred.3

  4. (4)

    Where a firm reports on the amount of redress paid under DISP 1.5.4 R (4), such redress should not, however, include repayments or refunds of premiums which had been taken in error (for example where a firm had been taking, by direct debit, twice the actual premium amount due under a policy). The refund of the overcharge would not count as redress.3

DISP 1.5.6 R RP

For the purposes of DISP 1.5.4 R:

  1. (1)

    The relevant reporting periods are:3

    3
    1. (a)

      the six months immediately following a firm's accounting reference date; and3

    2. (b)

      the six months immediately preceding a firm's accounting reference date.3

  2. (2)

    Reports are to be submitted to the FSA within 30 business days of the end of the relevant reporting period.3

    3

Reporting: when is a complaint closed?

DISP 1.5.7 R RP

For the purpose of DISP 1.5.4 R (2), a closed complaint is a complaint:

  1. (1)

    where the firm has sent a final response; or

  2. (2)

    where the complainant has indicated in writing acceptance of the firm's earlier response; or

  3. (3)

    where DISP 1.4.9 R applies, provided that the complainant has not responded to the firm within eight weeks of the written response referred to in that rule.

DISP 1.5.8 G

Where a complaint is reported as closed under DISP 1.5.7 R (3) because the complainant has not replied to the firm within eight weeks of a written response which meets the requirements in DISP 1.4.9 R, the firm may treat the date of that response as the date when the complaint was closed for the purposes of the reporting requirements in DISP 1.5.4 R (2).

Reporting: complaints subject to the FSAVC review

DISP 1.5.9 G

Where a complaint is subject to the FSAVC review, the record keeping and reporting requirements in DISP 1.5.1 R and DISP 1.5.4 R apply only where the complainant is dissatisfied with the outcome of that review (under DISP 1.4.15 R and DISP 1.4.16 R).

Method of submission of reports

DISP 1.5.10 R

A report under this section must be submitted through, and in the electronic format specified in, the FSA Complaints Reporting System or the appropriate section of the FSA website.3

3
DISP 1.5.10A R

[deleted]31

3

Failure of electronic submission

DISP 1.5.10B R

1If a firm is unable to submit a report in electronic format because of a systems failure of any kind, the firm must notify the FSA, in writing and without delay, of that systems failure.3

3

Notification of contact point for complainants

DISP 1.5.11 R

For the purpose of inclusion in the public record maintained by the FSA, a firm must:1

  1. (1)

    provide the FSA, at the time of its authorisation, with details of a single contact point within the firm for complainants; and1

  2. (2)

    notify the FSA of any subsequent change in those details when convenient and, at the latest, in the firm's next report under DISP 1.5.4 R.1

DISP 1.5.12 G

The contact point can be by name, job title or department and may include, for example, a helpline telephone number.

Complete reporting5

DISP 1.5.13 R

A firm must submit reports required under this chapter to the FSA containing all the information required. 5

DISP 1.5.14 G

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 reports required to be submitted under this chapter. 5

DISP 1.6 Cooperation by firms with the Ombudsman

DISP 1.6.1 R RP

A firm must cooperate fully with the Ombudsman in the handling of complaints against it.

DISP 1.6.2 R RP

Cooperation with the Ombudsman includes, but is not limited to, producing requested documents, adhering to any specified time limits, attending hearings when requested to do so and complying promptly with any settlements or awards.

DISP 1.7 The Society of Lloyd's

DISP 1.7.1 R RP

The Society of Lloyd's must establish and maintain appropriate and effective procedures for handling complaints by policyholders against members of the Society, which comply with DISP 1.

DISP 1.7.2 R RP

Members of the Society of Lloyd's must, in complying with DISP 1, ensure that the arrangements which the member maintains are compatible with the procedures maintained by the Society in accordance with DISP 1.7.1 R, so that, taken as a whole, the requirements of DISP are met.

DISP 1.7.3 G RP

The Society of Lloyd's must take reasonable steps to ensure that complaints by policyholders against members of the Society are dealt with under the procedures in DISP 1.7.1 R and that members comply with the requirements of those procedures.

DISP 1.7.4 R

A complaint by a policyholder against a member of the Society of Lloyd's may not be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service until after the internal procedures in DISP 1.7.1 R have been completed or until after the end of eight weeks from receipt of the complaint, whichever is the earlier.

DISP 1.7.5 R

Notices under DISP 1.1.7 R must be given to the FSA by the Society of Lloyd's on behalf of any member eligible for an exemption under that rule.

DISP 1.7.6 R

The Society of Lloyd's must notify the FSA if the conditions in DISP 1.1.7 R no longer apply to a member who is exempt.

DISP 1.7.7 R

The report in DISP 1.5.4 R must be provided by the Society of Lloyd's and must cover all complaints by policyholders against members falling with the scope of DISP 1.5.4 R.

DISP 1.7.8 G

Each member of the Society of Lloyd's is individually subject to the rules in DISP 1 as a result of the insurance market direction given in DISP 2.5.4 G2 under section 316 of the Act (Direction by Authority).

2
DISP 1.7.9 G

However, the Society of Lloyd's operates a two-tier internal complaints handling procedure, currently set out in the "Code for Underwriting agents: UK Personal Lines Claims and Complaints Handling". Under this procedure, complaints by policyholders against members of the Society are considered by the managing agent and then, if necessary, by the Society of Lloyd's in-house Complaints Department. This procedure (and any procedure that may replace it) will be subject to the requirements in DISP 1.

DISP 1.7.10 G

Members will individually comply with DISP 1 if and only if all complaints by policyholders against members are dealt with under the internal procedure established by the Society of Lloyd's for handling those complaints, provided that this procedure complies with DISP. Accordingly, certain of the obligations under DISP 1, for example the obligation to report on complaints received and the obligation to pay fees under FEES 514 , must be complied with by the Society on behalf of members. Managing agents will not have to make a separate report to the FSA on complaints reported under DISP 1.7.7 R.

1 4
DISP 1.7.11 R

A members' adviser must establish and maintain effective arrangements for handling any complaint from a member of the Society of Lloyd's regarding advice given to the member in connection with the acquiring or disposing of syndicate participation.

DISP 1.7.12 G

Complaints from members of the Society of Lloyd's regarding the activities of members' advisers, which cannot be resolved by the members' adviser, cannot be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

2
DISP 1.7.13 G

2The Financial Ombudsman Service is not be able to deal with the complaints listed in DISP 1.7.14 R and separate rules and guidance are therefore required.

DISP 1.7.14 R

2The Society must establish and maintain appropriate and effective arrangements for handling any complaint from a member or a former member about:

  1. (1)

    regulated activities carried on by the Society;

  2. (2)

    the Society'sregulatory functions carried on by the Society, the Council or those to whom the Council delegates authority to carry out such functions;

  3. (3)

    advice given by an underwriting agent to a person to become, continue or cease to be, a member of a particular syndicate; and

  4. (4)

    the management by a managing agent of the underwriting capacity of a syndicate on which the complainant participates or has participated.

DISP 1.7.15 R

2The Society must maintain by byelaw one or more appropriate effective schemes for the resolution of disputes between an individual member or a former member who was an individual member and:

  1. (1)

    his underwriting agent; or

  2. (2)

    the Society.

DISP 1.7.16 R

2For the purposes of DISP 1.7.14 R "individual member" includes a member which is a limited liability partnership or a body corporate whose members consist only of, or of the nominees for, a single natural person or a group of connected persons.

DISP 1.7.17 G

2The schemes to which DISP 1.7.14 R currently refers are the Lloyd's Arbitration Scheme and the Lloyd's Members' Ombudsman respectively, but the Society may maintain other independent dispute resolution schemes in addition to, or instead of, either of these schemes.

DISP 1.7.18 G

2The schemes referred to in DISP 1.7.14 R should be operationally independent of the Society.

DISP 1.7.19 G

2An individual member or former member who was an individual member should not have access to the schemes referred to in DISP 1.7.14 R unless the complaints arrangements maintained by the Society have failed to resolve the complaint to his satisfaction within eight weeks of receiving it.

DISP 1.7.20 G

2The Society should give the FSA adequate notice of all proposed changes to the byelaws relating to the schemes referred to in DISP 1.7.14 R.

DISP 1.7.21 G

2When considering what is required to ensure the operational independence of the schemes referred to in DISP 1.7.14 R, or proposed changes in such schemes, the Society should take account of similar arrangements operated by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

DISP 1.7.22 R

2A contravention of DISP 1.7.14 R or DISP 1.7.15 R does not give rise to a right of action by a private person under section 150 of the Act (Actions for damages) and each of those rules is specified under section 150(2) of the Act as a provision giving rise to no such right of action.

DISP 1 Annex 1 Complaints return form

DISP 1 Annex 1 R

Complaints return form

This annex consists only of one or more forms. Forms are to be found through the following address:

Complaints return form - DISP 1 Annex 1 R321