FAQ


Do you deal with insurance complaints?

No.  We can only investigate complaints about the regulators.  Complaints about insurance companies should, in the first instance, be directed to the insurance company and then, if you are still unhappy, to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Do you deal with banking complaints?

No.  We can only investigate complaints about the regulators.  Complaints about banks, in the first instance, be directed to the bank and then, if you are still unhappy, to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Who appoints the Commissioner?

The Commissioner’s appointment is confirmed by HM Treasury, although recruitment for the role is jointly undertaken by the three regulators.

Are there any deadlines regarding making a complaint?

A complaint must usually be referred to the Commissioner within three months of the date of the regulator’s decision letter.  Although the Commissioner can consider complaints received more than three months after the decision, he will expect the complainant to provide a clear explanation of why the complaint was sent late.

If I do not agree with the Commissioner’s decision what can I do?

Once the Commissioner has issued his decision it concludes his involvement in a complaint.  A complainant who wishes to challenge the Commissioner’s decision can apply to the High Court (at their own expense) to seek leave to apply for a judicial review of the Commissioner’s decision. The Court itself has to give leave before it considers whether or not there should be a judicial review of the decision.  An application for leave to apply for judicial review must be made to the Administrative Court Office at the Royal Courts of Justice Justice in London or at the District Registry of the High Court in either Birmingham, Cardiff, Leeds or Manchester within three months of the date of the Commissioner’s decision letter. A complainant who wishes to consider doing this may wish to seek their own legal advice (which will be at their own cost) before approaching the High Court, since complex legal issues may arise.

Does my Report have to be published?

We publish our decisions on the complaints we receive. The information published will not name the complainant or any individual involved with the complaint. They will usually be published no earlier than three weeks after the date of the final decision.

If the complainant asks us not to publish the decision, we will usually agree to their request, though the final decision on this is ours.

Are Reports anonymised on publication?

Yes.  Only anonymised reports are published.

How long will an investigation into my complaint take?

The Office of the Complaints Commissioner will acknowledge complaints within three working days, and inform complainants within three weeks how long the review of the complaint is likely to take.

Where there is or is likely to be a delay, the Commissioner will keep the complainants informed of the progress of his investigation on a regular basis.

 

How do I make a complaint?

Complaints should be submitted in written form (either by email or by letter) and explain why the complainant is unhappy with the regulator’s decision on their complaint.
It is not necessary to provide copies of the correspondence which has been exchanged with the regulator, as we will obtain a full copy of the regulator’s investigation file as part of our investigation.  It is however useful if the complaint makes it clear which regulator is being complained about and the regulator’s complaint reference number.