Complaints Procedure

We regard a complaint as being:

Any expression of dissatisfaction, whether oral or written, and whether justified or not, from or on behalf of an eligible complainant which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience and relates to an activity of our firm or any other firm with whom we have some connection in marketing or providing financial services or products which comes under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service. Customer complaints help us in assessing our levels of service and provide us with an opportunity to look positively at any areas requiring improvement, they also allow us to evaluate whether we are treating our customers fairly. We Will:
  • Ensure someone at a senior level with a governing function is appointed to resolve the customers complaint as soon as possible.
  • Accept any expression of dissatisfaction on any matter relating to our business, made orally or in writing
  • Take full details of the complaint
  • Apologise to the customer and try to resolve the complaint where prudent to do so
  • If the complaint cannot be resolved to the customers satisfaction within three business days of receipt, explain to the customer that they will receive an acknowledgement letter from the Complaints Manager within five business days of receipt and that we aim to resolve complaints within 8 weeks. Provide the customer with details of the Complaints Manager’s name and contact details
  • Inform the Complaints Manager Gary Ward immediately of all complaints received so that they can be logged
  • In the event that the complaint relates to the Complaints Manager, where possible refer to the Deputy Complaints Manager Vahed Khan or another senior person who is independent of the complaint
  • Analyse each complaint so as to identify root causes common to types of complaint and to identify if there is a need for training, a change of procedure or disciplinary action and record this on the Complaints Record Form and Breaches Register (if appropriate).
  • In the event of a complaint being made against another party, record this in our Complaints Register and redirect the complaint to the relevant party by e-mail or in writing within one business day and advise the complainant who this has been passed on to, in writing, on the same day
  • Provide a sufficient information to the customer regarding the service provided by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
  • Look at each customer complaint on an individual basis and consider the facts of what actually happened. Refer to the customer file and review documentation, and where applicable any previous complaints made by the customer including any previous FOS decisions. Where necessary obtain a statement from the member of staff involved
  • Consider whether the subject matter of the complaint may affect other customers and identify wider action to be taken to address these issues
  • Acknowledge all complaints in writing promptly on receipt of the complaint
  • Include in the acknowledgement letter the full name and contact details of the person who is handling the complaint
  • Ensure that the acknowledgement letter is clearly written, avoids jargon and adequately address the subject matter of the complaint. Consider and respond to each point raised by the customer
  • Include in the acknowledgement letter an indication as to when the customer can expect a final written response unless the acknowledgement letter is also the final written response
  • Include our terms of business with every complaint acknowledgement letter and draw the customer’s attention to the relevant section.
  • If complaints are resolved by the close of the third business day, we will consider providing a less formal response. In such cases, the rules require the firm to issue the complainant with a summary resolution communication. A summary resolution communication will only be required in response to a complaint which meets the FCA definition; less substantive issues which do not amount to complaints will be dealt with by the firm without the need for a summary resolution communication.
  • Within 8 weeks of receiving the complaint (if not following the summary resolution communication process above), provide the customer with:
  • A final written response which must:
    • Accept the complaint and where appropriate, offer redress or remedial action; or
    • Offer redress or remedial action without accepting the complaint; or
    • Reject the complaint and give reasons for doing so
And which:
  • Informs eligible complainants that if they are dissatisfied with our final response, they may contact the FOS
    • Encloses a copy of the FOS leaflet and makes reference to the leaflet within the written response.
    • Make reference to the FOS website
  • A written response which:
    • Explains why we are not in a position to make a final response and which indicates when we expect to be able to provide one
    • Informs the eligible complainant that they may now refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
    • Enclose a copy of the FOS leaflet and make reference to the leaflet within the written response
  • We will co-operate fully with the Financial Ombudsman Service. This means producing requested documents, adhering to any specified time limits, attending hearings when requested to do so and complying properly with any settlements or awards
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Whilst we log and deal with all complaints, only certain categories of customers can be offered the Financial Ombudsman Service facility. Further information is available on the Ombudsman’s website Making a Complaint Please contact: Gary Ward Independent Connections Limited Caroline House 115-125 Bradshawgate Bolton Greater Manchester BL2 1BJ Tel: 01204 565600 E-mail –
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