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Complaints Handling Policy

We regard a complaint as being:

 ‘Any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from, or on behalf of, a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service, which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience’.

What will happen next?

We will attempt to resolve any complaint by close of business on the 3rd business day of receipt of compliant. If your complaint is resolved within this time frame we will send you a Summary Resolution Communication with FOS information confirming that we consider your compliant resolved, however if your complaint can not be solved within this time frame we follow the process detailed below.

You will have been given the opportunity to outline your complaint in writing using our Customer Complaint Form, sent with this document.

 If you opted to make an oral complaint only a summary will be completed in the absence of the Customer Compliant Form by the Line manager and given to the Compliance Manager.

Acknowledging your Complaint

On receipt of a complaint either an oral summary, written complaint or a completed Customer Complaint Form, we will pass the details onto the Complaints team, who will be responsible for ensuring that any complaint will be dealt with promptly and fairly. 

If your complaint cannot be resolved by the close of the 3rd working day, following its receipt we will promptly send you a written acknowledgement of your complaint, as detailed below

Once the complaints team have received a complaint an acknowledgement of your complaint will be sent within 5 business days by the Compliance Team using your preferred means of communication (email, hard copy letter).

If you did not wish to complete a Customer Complaint Form but to instead make an oral complaint only, our written acknowledgement will also set out our understanding of your complaint within 5 business days. We will also send a copy of this form and a Customer Complaint Form for you to complete should our summary be incorrect. 

It is advisable to complete a Customer Compliant Form rather than rely on an oral complaint as key information can be missed and may require further details or possibly cause a delay conclusion of the complaint.

If we have reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another firm may be solely or jointly responsible for the allegation(s) made, we will promptly forward securely the complaint, or the relevant part of it, to that firm.

We will write to you to confirm our actions and provide contact details of the firm concerned. 

 

Investigating your Complaint

Your complaint will be investigated by somebody who is competent and as far as is possible by an individual who is unconnected to the subject of your complaint.  

Your complaint will be investigated diligently and will be assessed fairly, consistently and promptly. We may ask you to submit copies of documentation and may request further information from you to assist us with our investigation.  We will take into account any documents and/or information you may provide in relation to your complaint.

We will ensure that a complainant is regularly kept informed of our progress with regards to the investigation into their complaint.

GCBF will in keep you informed and you will receive an update within 4 weeks of receiving a complaint, this will be 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 8 weeks of receipt of the complaint).

 

Any progress updates will include:

  • the reasons for any delay;
  • what further information / documents we require to resolve their complaint; and
  • when they may expect to receive a further update / our Final Response letter 

 

In the event of a delay beyond the 8 weeks of the receipt we will ensure that you are kept informed of our progress with regards to the investigation into your complaint.

Any progress updates will include:

  • the reasons for any delay;
  • what further information / documents we require to resolve your complaint; and
  • when you may expect to receive a further update / our Final Response letter.

We will work towards completing our investigation into your complaint within 8 weeks of its receipt.

We will undertake a thorough investigation of your complaint which may on occasion take a little bit of time.

We will also provide you with details of your right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). 

Resolving your Complaint

When we have finalised our investigation into your complaint, we will issue our Final Response letter.   Our Final Response letter will be:

  • fair, clear and not misleading;
  • provide details of our investigation and decision; and
  • if relevant, include any offer of remedial action or the appropriate level of redress (or both).

For our records GCBF will consider a complaint closed 8 weeks after the date of the final response.

If you are not satisfied with our decision, you will have the right to refer the matter onto the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) within 6 months from the date of our Final Response letter, or you may lose that right.  Details of this right and an explanatory leaflet or electronic link to such will be provided.  

The Financial Ombudsman Service can be contacted as follows:

Whilst we would look for complaints to be addressed directly, we acknowledge that you, may be dissatisfied with the outcome provide to you by GCBF or you wish to escalate the matter at the outset. In these instances, you have the right to refer to the Financial Ombudsman Service although please be advised that the Financial Ombudsman Service may refer the matter back to GCBF to resolve if you have not engaged with GCBF in the first instance.

 

Financial Ombudsman Service

South Quay Plaza 183 Marsh Wall London E14 9SR

Telephone: 0845 080 1800 

E-mail: enquiries@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

 

You can be assured that we treat all complaints very seriously and we will conduct a full review of the issue(s) raised.