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Making a complaint about a financial services business
If you are not happy with the service you have received from a financial services business, you have every right to complain.
Businesses need to know when their customers are not happy so that they can get better at what they do.
How to make a complaint
You should complain in writing to the financial services business either by email or letter. Explain the situation and what you think falls below your expectations regarding the standard of service they should provide.
You should include as much information as you can and keep original copies of any supporting evidence. If you give evidence to the financial services business when you make your complaint, you should only send copies. Maintain a complete record of your interactions with the business in relation to the complaint.
Every regulated financial services business should have an internal policy for dealing with complaints. You can reasonably expect the business to tell you how your complaint is being handled and to let you know the outcome in writing within three months.
If you are not happy with the outcome or your complaint has not been dealt with within 90 days then you may want to take the matter further. You have two options:
1. Submit the complaint to the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman.
2. Take your complaint to the Law Courts. For legal advice you should contact a practicing Jersey lawyer. A current list of lawyers is available from the Law Society of Jersey.
Going to the Ombudsman
Taking your complaint to the Ombudsman is a cheap and effective way of an independent party looking at your complaint, provided that the complaint falls under the Ombudsman’s remit.
The matter you are complaining about must have happened within six years or within two years of when you first knew, or should have known, about the problem.
Telephone +44 (0) 1534 748610
Or write to
Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman
PO Box 114
You can find more information about the Ombudsman and how to submit a complaint at www.ci-fo.org.
It is not part of our role to deal with complaints for individual customers of financial services businesses.
Only the Ombudsman or the law courts decide whether you should be compensated by the business you are complaining about.
Reporting low standards or breaches of regulatory laws
We are, however, very interested to hear about complaints that have not been well-handled, particularly if they reveal low standards, so please tell us about your experience.
We have an information sharing gateway which allows the Ombudsman to share with us details of complaints that might indicate a regulatory issue. We are happy to hear from you directly if you think the issue reveals bad practices or low standards of a regulated business.
Where it appears that a regulated financial services business has not observed good conduct or has breached the regulatory laws under which it operates, we will look into this.
Disputes about poor performance of investments
We do not generally get involved in disputes about the performance (or non-performance) of a financial services product, as long as the product was correctly sold and / or marketed. Investments can go up and down and these risks should have been explained at the time of investing.
By law we are not able to discuss our investigations or disclose our findings to you as the complainant. This is to ensure that the regulated business can be completely open and honest with us. You will only be made aware if, for example, we issue a public statement following enforcement action or there are court proceedings.
Although this can be frustrating for you as the complainant, it is important to remember that we can only operate within the legal framework.
How to tell us what has happened to you
An email or a letter is the best way to tell us what has happened to you. We do not normally deal with oral or anonymous complaints, but contact us by telephone if you have any individual difficulties which might prevent you from making a written complaint.
You should provide us with:
the name of the regulated financial services business
your full name and address and that of any third party acting on your behalf
full details of the nature of your complaint
evidence that any third party acting on your behalf is authorised to do so.
Jersey Financial Services Commission
PO Box 267
14 – 18 Castle Street
Telephone: +44 (0)1534 822000
Releasing details of your complaint
When we look into the matter you have raised with us, we may need to release some or all of the details you have shared with us to the financial services business in question. For example, we may, in some cases, need to send a copy of your written complaint to the business. We would appreciate you giving us explicit confirmation in writing that you are happy for us to do so.
If you are concerned about us releasing details of your complaint to the financial services business and you tell us this in writing, we will generally try to avoid doing so. However, this might mean that we are unable to investigate the matter fully.
You should be aware that, under certain circumstances, we may need to disclose details that might identify you without your consent. For example, if your complaint raises serious concerns about a financial services business, we may need to release information about your complaint to the business to fulfil our statutory functions properly. These statutory functions include protecting the public from dishonesty, incompetence, or malpractice of the financial services businesses we regulate.
If you have communicated concern to us about the release of information to a financial services business, we will always try to limit the information we release.
How we will handle your issue
1. We will normally acknowledge receipt of your email or letter within five working days.
2. We will endeavour to treat what you disclose to us in the strictest confidence, consistent with our statutory functions.
3. Subject to the efficient and effective use of our resources, we will aim to assess whether:
your complaint has been handled properly in line with the requirements set out in the regulatory framework
the financial services business has followed its own complaint procedures properly.
4. We will take follow-up action as we deem appropriate to support the conduct of business to high standards and compliance with financial services law and our Codes of Practice.
Complaints against the JFSC
If you have a complaint against us, or any member of our staff, read our guidance on Making a complaint about the JFSC.
If you are aware or suspect that a business you work for or interact with may be involved in wrongdoing, we would ask you to contact us. Read our guidance on whistleblowing.