How to make a complaint

Is your financial service provider a FSCL participant?

All financial service providers must belong to a dispute resolution scheme, like FSCL. To find out if your financial service provider belongs to FSCL you can:

Have you told your financial service provider about your complaint? 

Before we can begin our investigation we need to give your financial service provider the opportunity to resolve the complaint with you.  Very often your complaint will be resolved at this stage.  

You can make your complaint directly to your financial service provider.  We are also happy to forward your complaint to your financial service provider to make sure it gets to the people who can help you. You can:

Please refer your complaint to FSCL if: 

  • you are unable to resolve your complaint with your financial service provider
  • your complaint is unresolved after 40 working days of making a complaint to your financial service provider
  • your financial service provider tells you to take your complaint to FSCL.  If this is the case please refer your complaint to us immediately as delay could affect FSCL’s ability to investigate your complaint.

Referring a complaint to FSCL 

It is helpful if you can tell us:

  • what you think your financial service provider has done wrong
  • how your financial service provider’s action or omission has affected you
  • what you would like to happen to put things right.

What happens next? 

We begin our investigation.  We will:

  • ask you for a waiver of confidentiality
  • contact you about your complaint and may discuss options to resolve your complaint
  • contact your financial service provider and ask for a response within 10-20 working days
  • tell you if your complaint falls outside our Terms of Reference.

During this period your financial service provider has a further opportunity to resolve your complaint and may contact you. We may also meet with you to see if we can reach a resolution.  We call this a conciliation. We act independently by not taking sides. We aim to get a fair outcome for both you and your financial service provider.

The decision-making process

Sometimes it is not possible to resolve your complaint by agreement between you and your financial service provider. Our Chief Executive Officer will review everything you and your financial service provider have told us.  Our Chief Executive Officer will then give you either:

  • her preliminary view, explaining why she thinks your complaint is unlikely to succeed, or
  • her notice of recommendation, advising how the complaint should be resolved, including what compensation should be paid by the financial service provider.

You may not accept the Chief Executive Officer’s view. If so, she will again review the information and give you and your financial service provider her formal recommendation.  This is the final step in our process and your financial service provider must accept it.  If you do not accept the recommendation you may take your complaint elsewhere, for example to court.

If our Chief Executive Officer recommends your financial service provider pays you compensation you will be asked to sign a settlement form.  The settlement form is your agreement that you will not take any further action against your financial service provider.