Complaints about a Financial Services Organisation

How can I make a complaint about a financial services organisation?

How do I make a complaint?

If you’re not happy with the service you receive from your financial institution and you wish to make a complaint, your first step is to make a formal complaint to the company involved. Financial institutions are obliged to tell you how to make a complaint and their procedures for dealing with them.

If, when you have fully exhausted this route, you are still not happy with the outcome or any compensation you may have received, the next step is to approach the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

The FOS is an independent body that settles disputes between businesses providing financial services and their customers. It considers complaints about a wide range of financial matters – from insurance and mortgages to investments and bank accounts. It looks at the issue from a neutral position and having given both sides a fair hearing, will reach a resolution to the dispute.

More information on the FOS can be found at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk or by calling the consumer helpline on 0800 0234567 or email complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk


The Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) Lending Code

The FLA Lending Code sets standards of good practice for the finance and leasing industry. It is intended to reassure anyone who applies for finance from a full FLA member that they are dealing with a reputable organisation. It sets out the key commitments and principles that the FLA requires its members to follow. It includes specific provisions about dealing with customers who have mental health difficulties.

The FLA Lending Code relates to all consumer credit, hire or lease agreements and covers any of the following types of agreement:

  • Loans taken out through a supplier of goods and services
  • Loans taken out through a credit broker
  • Store cards
  • Credit cards
  • Personal loans (e.g. a bank loan)
  • Revolving credit loans
  • Variable-rate loans
  • Motor loans
  • Loans to pay insurance premiums.

The Code also covers the sale of payment protection insurance (PPI).

The FLA offers a free conciliation scheme for consumer complaints where the complaint is made against one of its members. The FLA will conciliate at any time before the matter is referred to the FOS.

The FLA Lending Code is monitored by an independent group consisting of consumer representatives, industry practitioners and an independent Chairman. To find out more or to obtain a copy of the Code, visit www.lendingcode.org.uk


FLA Business Code

The FLA also operates a Business Finance Code which sets out standards of good practice for the finance and leasing industry in the conduct of transactions with business customers, for example those who lease office equipment. To find out more visit www.businessfinancecode.org.uk


Simon Rex