What to do if you're not happy
If you have a complaint about our decision on your claim, or the way your claim was handled, please contact us. We would recommend contacting us by telephone in the first instance, as we may be able to deal with your concerns by discussing them with you.
What is a complaint?
A complaint is simply defined as "an expression of dissatisfaction requiring a response". The complaint could relate to our handling of a claim, the decision reached, or the behaviour of our staff.
A complaint could be informal (by telephone) or formal (by letter, fax or email). This policy applies to formal, i.e. written, complaints only.
Purpose of the Complaint Policy
While every effort is made to deliver the highest quality of service possible, it is recognised that, on occasion, mistakes will happen and we will fail to meet our own standards and expectations and those of the people using our services and otherwise coming into contact with FSCS.
When this happens we rely on these occasions being brought to our attention as they can highlight shortcomings and provide us an opportunity to learn and to improve our service.
The policy will assist in ensuring that claimants understand how to bring a complaint and what they can expect from us as a result.
The policy will ensure that internal procedures for dealing with complaints are accessible, easy to use and effective, have clear lines of responsibility and accountability, and that all complaints are handled fairly, consistently and promptly.
It is also important to recognise that not all complainants will be satisfied at the end of the process.
The responsibility for the delivery and application of this policy is delegated, by the FSCS Board, to the executive and management of the FSCS as set out below.
The executive will report on a regular basis to the Board, providing updates on complaints generally, on individual cases that have been passed to the Independent Investigator (see later), and on any steps taken to identify and address the causes of complaints.
All complaints will be investigated by a Complaints Officer, within our Specialist Contact Team.
FSCS will ensure that its staff are suitably trained to deal with complaints effectively and appropriately.
What happens to a complaint?
When a complaint is received it will be acknowledged within two working days.
A Complaints Officer within the FSCS Specialist Contact Team, which is separate to the team responsible for assessing your claim, will carry out a review of the decision reached, taking into account any concerns you raise.
For complaints relating to the decision reached on a claim, the outcome of this review is final, and there is no further internal appeal available. It is therefore important that, when you contact us, you provide any additional material evidence in support of your case. This will ensure that the review properly considers all available information.
The ultimate recourse to challenging a decision of FSCS is through the courts. As FSCS is an organisation performing a public function, its decisions can be challenged by way of Judicial Review through the Administrative Court.
Where a complaint is made against a member of staff, the handling of the complaint will be dealt with by a Manager. Where a complaint is made against a Manager, the handling of the complaint will be dealt with by the relevant Executive Director. Where a complaint is made against the Chief Executive, the handling of the complaint will be dealt with by the Board Chairman. Where a complaint is made against any other Executive Director, the handling of the complaint will be dealt with by the Chief Executive.
We will aim to send a full response within 20 working days. If this timescale cannot be met, the Complaints Officer will write to the complainant to explain why this is the case.
If the complaint is about the way we have handled a claim, or about the service we have provided, a complainant may ask for their concerns to be referred to the Independent Investigator. Should a complainant ask for a review by the Independent Investigator, we will write to the complainant to explain the process and to request any additional information necessary to refer the complaint to the Independent Investigator.
Role of the Independent Investigator
The Independent Investigator will carry out an unbiased and independent review of our handling of your claim or the service we have provided. However, the Investigator cannot overturn a decision made about your claim or award a compensation payment. The Independent Investigator will prepare a report for our Board of Directors. The Board will then write to you with its response to the report, explaining what action will be taken. Please note that we will only commission the Independent Investigator if your complaint cannot be resolved to your satisfaction by one of our Complaints Officers.
Abusive or rude and vexatious claimants
The FSCS reserves the right to refuse to communicate with people who are abusive to its staff and those who are vexatious or persist in pursuing a complaint after the complaint process has been completed. Complainants will be advised if this decision has been made, and why.
Any personal information provided to us will be held by the Scheme in accordance with our data protection policy, which is on our website or available on request to FSCS.