Frequently Asked Questions

What sort of complaints can we deal with?

We can look at any form of complaint that you may have within reason.  There is a list on our services page that details the broad outline of complaints that we do deal with. However, every individual’s complaint or concern in relation to their financial institution is unique and we like to think that, at the very least, even if we are unable to deal with concerns, both for a personal or business customer and regardless of the circumstances, we can at least point them in the right direction and offer support in that way.

We have experience in both personal and business complaints for a wide range of products and are use to the banks behaviour regarding mis-selling or inappropriate conduct, resulting in forensic analysis of transactions.

If I want to deal with a complaint myself, what do I do?

There is no reason why an individual, if they wish to, cannot deal with concerns they have with a bank or financial institution on their own.  In order to do this, there is a procedure in place to deal with complaints and concerns that clients have.

The bank should deal with these in this way but there are occasions when they do not reply, or make it difficult and challenging for an individual. 

The complaints process is one where you send your concerns into the bank, they acknowledge receipt and within a period of 8 weeks should have released what is called a ‘letter of deadlock’ or ‘conclusion letter’.  At this time, depending upon the outcome, you could take the complaint forward to the Financial Ombudsman Service and if you choose to do this, you must do so within 6 months of the complaint’s final response being received from the bank.  

The Ombudsman will then assess the complaint through adjudication and, if this is not accepted by either the consumer or the bank, it is then dealt with by a Financial Ombudsman whose decision is final. 

Some (although they must be brave and have deep pockets) may wish to take the financial institution to court.  However, this is never easy and financially can bring about ruin, regardless of how good a case you may think you have.

How can this service help me?

We like to think that with the experience we have in dealing with disputes since the late 1990s, and our experience prior to that working within financial institutions, that we can deal with the majority of concerns a client has and offer advice accordingly, even if, as on some occasions, we have suggested the client should not take the complaint further as it could be detrimental to them.

If the Financial Institution is wrong, will it not just refund me?

Sadly, financial institutions do not always treat their customers fairly.  We have seen in recent years how badly banks, building societies and other financial lending institutions treat their clients and in some cases, quite frankly, in contemptuous ways. 

There has been mis-selling of PPI, endowments and excessive bank charges, where we are now seeing complaints in relation to mortgage mis-selling and pension mis-selling (which we believe will become relevant in the years to come following the new Government-backed Laws on moving your pensions).

The banks also use the complaints process against consumers in order to bypass the requirements that they have when redressing concerns.  The complaints process itself can be long-winded, or certainly appear to be long-winded, and the financial institutions can use this to their advantage to put people off from taking on complaints which can run into months, if not years.

Who are the Financial Ombudsman?

The Financial Ombudsman Service is a free service available to consumers who have eroded the bank complaint process and wish to take their complaint further and seek redress through the Financial Ombudsman who are a wholly independent organisation that will adjudicate disputes.  They will weigh up the evidence that they have, both under compliance regulations and legal regulations and make an assessment or an adjudication in the first instance. 

If this first assessment is not agreed by both the consumer or financial institution, then the complaint can then be reviewed by a financial ombudsman, whose decision is final.  This final decision cannot be challenged by the consumer or financial institution. 

Who are the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme become involved in any dispute where the firm who are being challenged, for whatever reason, are no longer in business.  The compensation scheme will then, if a redress is agreed, refund 90% of the agreed redress on behalf of the out-of-business financial institution. 

The money for the operation in relation to the Financial Services Compensation Scheme is paid by the banks, under the guidance of the Financial Conduct Authority, and is a requirement of them to cover bad practice for firms that are no longer in business.

Are you regulated?

We are regulated to undertake claims on behalf of consumers, both personal and business, by the claims regulator.  Our CRM number is CRM40359.  We are also registered with the information commissioner, where our reference is ZA064155.

How much are your fees?

Our fees are based on a ‘No Win No Fee’ basis where we operate on a success fee based upon a percentage of the money recovered.  This is normally 20% plus VAT, but depending upon the type of dispute, we can tailor this fee depending on the potential redress and difficulties the client has experienced and to what they relate.