Bringing a complaint to us is straightforward and won't cost you anything.
This page explains how you can make a complaint about a financial business, and gives an outline of our process.
Last updated: 26th August 2020
For most complaints about a financial business, please see the timeline below to find out how to complain. If you want to make a complaint about a claims management company (CMC), head to the Claims Management Ombudsman website for more information.
If you’re a small business and have a complaint to make about a financial service provider, please see our Financial Ombudsman Service for Small Businesses website to find out how we can help.
Talk to the financial business first
Let them know what the problem is, and how you’d like them to put things right. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact us and we can help. The business needs to give you their final response within eight weeks at the most, depending on what you’re complaining about.
If you’re still not happy, bring your complaint to us
If you’re not happy with the response you get from the business – or they don’t get back to you – you can ask us to get involved.
You need to get in touch with us within six months of receiving the business’s final response to your complaint (though there are some exceptions to this rule – find out more about time limits affecting your complaint).
When you get in touch, we’ll need to know:
- some basic information, including your name and address
- what the problem is, and how you want things put right
- details such as the policy number or account number that your complaint relates to
If you want us to talk to a member of your family or a friend – or someone else who’s helping you, such as Citizens Advice – we’ll be happy to do that.
We’ll look into your complaint
Once we’ve checked your complaint is something we can help with, we’ll start to investigate.
When we look into your complaint we will:
- ask the business for their side of the story
- weigh up the facts of what’s happened, fairly and impartially
Find out more about how long it can take.
We’ll let you know what we think
Once we’ve got all the information we need, we'll let you know what we think.
If we think there’s just been a misunderstanding – or you haven’t lost out financially – we’ll explain why. But if we decide you’ve been treated unfairly, we’ll tell the business to put things right. We’re able to resolve most complaints this way.
If you want to take things further
If you or the business disagree with our initial assessment of your complaint, you (or the business) can ask for a final decision from one of our ombudsmen.
Our ombudsmen will look at things afresh, and have the power to make legally binding final decisions. If you reject the ombudsman's final decision, we can’t take your complaint further – but you can still go to court instead.
Putting things right
If we decide the business has done something wrong, we’ll ask them to put things right.
We can do that in a number of ways – including paying you compensation.