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Status: You are viewing the version of the handbook as on 2009-03-31.

DISP 2.8 Was the complaint referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service in time?

DISP 2.8.1RRP

19The Ombudsman can only consider a complaint if:

  1. (1)

    the respondent has already sent the complainant its final response ; or

  2. (2)

    eight weeks have elapsed since the respondent received the complaint.

DISP 2.8.2RRP

19The Ombudsman cannot consider a complaint if the complainant refers it to the Financial Ombudsman Service:

  1. (1)

    more than six months after the date on which the respondent sent the complainant its final response; or

  2. (2)

    more than:

    1. (a)

      six years after the event complained of; or (if later)

    2. (b)

      three years from the date on which the complainant became aware (or ought reasonably to have become aware) that he had cause for complaint;

    unless the complainant referred the complaint to the respondent or to the Ombudsman within that period and has a written acknowledgement or some other record of the complaint having been received;

unless:

  1. (3)

    in the view of the Ombudsman, the failure to comply with the time limits in DISP 2.8.2 R or DISP 2.8.7 R210 was as a result of exceptional circumstances; or

  2. (4)

    the Ombudsman is required to do so by the Ombudsman Transitional Order; or

  3. (5)

    the respondent has not objected , on the grounds that the time limits in DISP 2.8.2 R or DISP 2.8.7 R have been exceeded210, to the Ombudsman considering the complaint.

DISP 2.8.3GRP

19The six-month time limit is only triggered by a response which is a final response. A final response must tell the complainant about the six-month time limit that the complainant has to refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

DISP 2.8.4GRP

19An example of exceptional circumstances might be where the complainant has been or is incapacitated.

Reviews of past business

DISP 2.8.5RRP

19The six-year and the three-year time limits do not apply where:

  1. (1)

    the time limit has been extended under a scheme for review of past business approved by the Treasury under section 404 of the Act (Schemes for reviewing past business); or

  2. (2)

    the complaint concerns a contract or policy which is the subject of a review directly or indirectly under:

    1. (a)

      the terms of the Statement of Policy on 'Pension transfers and Opt-outs' issued by the FSA on 25 October 1994; or

    2. (b)

      the terms of the policy statement for the review of specific categories of FSAVC business issued by the FSA on 28 February 2000.

Mortgage endowment complaints

DISP 2.8.6GRP

19If a complaint relates to the sale of an endowment policy for the purpose of achieving capital repayment of a mortgage, the receipt by the complainant of a letter which states that there is a risk (rather than a high risk) that the policy would not, at maturity, produce a sum large enough to repay the target amount is not, itself, sufficient to cause the three year time period in DISP 2.8.2R (2) to start to run.

DISP 2.8.7RRP
  1. (1)

    19If a complaint relates to the sale of an endowment policy for the purpose of achieving capital repayment of a mortgage and the complainant receives a letter from a firm or a VJ participant warning that there is a high risk that the policy will not, at maturity, produce a sum large enough to repay the target amount then, subject to (2), (3), (4) and (5):

    1. (a)

      time for referring a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service starts to run from the date the complainant receives the letter; and

    2. (b)

      ends three years from that date ("the final date").

  2. (2)

    Paragraph (1)(b) applies only if the complainant also receives within the three year period mentioned in (1)(b) and at least six months before the final date an explanation that the complainant's time to refer such a complaint would expire at the final date.

  3. (3)

    If an explanation is given but is sent outside the period referred to in (2), time for referring a complaint will run until a date specified in such an explanation which must not be less than six months after the date on which the notice is sent.

  4. (4)

    A complainant will be taken to have complied with the time limits in (1) to (3) above if in any case he refers the complaint to the firm or VJ participant within those limits and has a written acknowledgement or some other record of the complaint having been received.

  5. (5)

    Paragraph (1) does not apply if the Ombudsman is of the opinion that, in the circumstances of the case, it is appropriate for DISP 2.8.2R (2) to apply.