It is in everyone’s interests for most complaints to be resolved between the complainant and the financial services provider. CIFO will only look at cases where the complainant remains dissatisfied with the financial services provider’s response, or if it does not respond in a reasonable time.
Complaint-handling procedure of financial services providers
It is helpful to have a clear process (and time limit) for the handling of complaints by financial services providers, so that:
- as many disputes as possible can be resolved quickly by financial services providers themselves;
- the number of disputes that have to be referred to CIFO is minimised; and
- it is clear when the complainant can refer the dispute to CIFO.
Telling complainants about CIFO
Financial services providers have asked about when, and how, they should notify complainants about CIFO. CIFO has published guidance on this and a recommended model complaints procedure (11).
Assistance from CIFO
CIFO will consider how far it can assist the early resolution of cases by financial services providers through:
- publishing details of its approach to common disputes;
- giving advice to complainants and financial services providers; and/or
- helping train consumer advice centres and financial services providers’ complaint departments.