On this page you’ll find more detail about how long you can expect it to take once you've sent us your complaint.
In light of government guidance on Covid-19 (coronavirus), we are working differently. We're committed to continuing to provide a high-level of customer service, and ensuring our people's wellbeing. The current situation means that responding to complaints and enquiries might take longer. In particular, it may be several weeks before we’re able to acknowledge post, emails or forms submitted to us online.
Many businesses have also been impacted by Covid-19 and in some cases it’s taking longer for them to respond to our requests for information. You can find out more about the impact of Covid-19 on financial businesses further down this page.
In general, this is when you can expect to hear from us:
When you first send us your complaint
- When you first send us information about your complaint, you will receive an acknowledgement letting you know we have received it.
- At the moment, it can take several weeks for us to acknowledge complaints received by post, email or via our online forms.
- You'll get a case reference number. Please keep this reference number safe, treat it securely like any other personal information. Use it when you contact us, it helps speed things up when you do.
- We'll check we have the information we need from you to get started. If we think we need more information - for example, to check you've complained to the business first, or to ask you for things like your account or policy numbers - we will contact you. You can read more about some of the essential information we need upfront.
When your case is ready to be allocated to a case handler
- When we have the basic information we need to set up your case, it will be allocated to a case handler. Some cases are allocated within a few weeks. However, at busy times, it can take considerably longer for some types of cases to be allocated.
- You can find out more about timescales for specific complaint types by choosing the product area you’d like to read about from the 'complaints we can help with' section of this website.
- Once your complaint is allocated to a case handler, they will contact you to introduce themselves. They will be your point of contact throughout your case.
When you will receive an initial assessment
- Once the case handler has completed their investigation, they will give you an initial assessment of your case. Typically, this part of our process takes up to 90 days. A very complex complaint, or where either party disagrees with the initial assessment and ask for final decision, may mean it takes longer. You will be updated by your case handler as things progress.
Telling us about your circumstances
If you’re facing financial hardship or severe ill health and feel your complaint needs to be dealt with urgently, please let us know when you send us your complaint - or update your case handler direct.
If you need to update us about your circumstances before your complaint is with a case handler you can contact us on our helpline number quoting your reference number.
The impact of Covid-19 on complaint handling at businesses
The impact of Covid-19, and the associated public health measures, mean that financial businesses are having to work differently. The industry regulator, The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), has set out its expectations for financial businesses’ complaint handling at this time, including what businesses should do in relation to handling and prioritising complaints. You can find the full detail of its statement on its website.
The FCA has said that it expects businesses to continue to explain to consumers how to complain, and to continue to handle complaints fairly. However where consumers do make a complaint, they may not hear back from financial businesses within the 8 weeks the FCA’s rules usually require (or the 15 business days for payment services and e-money complaints). The FCA is asking that consumers show patience at this time if they do not receive a final response to their complaint within the usual 8 weeks. If you’re facing financial hardship or severe ill health however, please let the business know.