How to complain

Bringing a complaint to us is straightforward and won't cost you anything.

Find out how you can make a complaint about a financial business.  

This page explains the stages of our complaint process, outlines the information you need to complete our forms and what to expect when we’re looking into your complaint. You can also find links to our online complaint forms.


Talk to the financial business first

You should give the financial business you’re unhappy with a chance to sort things out before bringing your complaint to us.

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, 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).

You can find out if we can help with your complaint by answering a few questions on our complaint checker.

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

You can find up-to-date information about our general timescales on our how long it takes page. You can also find more detail about timescales for specific types of complaints by choosing the product area you’d like to read about on our complaints we can help with page.


We’ll let you know what we think

Once weve 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.

Make a complaint

You can make a complaint in the following ways:


Make a complaint online

You can make a complaint using one of our online complaint forms, including complaints about financial businesses, complaints about PPI or packaged bank accounts.

Complain online

Call our helpline

You can make a complaint by calling our helpline. Our phones lines are open between 8am and 5pm, Monday to Friday and 9am and 1pm on Saturday. At times, you might need to wait to speak to someone.

0800 023 4567
Financial Ombudsman Service for small businesses

Are you a small business?

If you’re a small business (SME) and want to make a complaint to us, head to our dedicated small business website for more information about how we can help.

Claims Management Ombudsman - a Financial Ombudsman Service

Need help with a claims management dispute?

We can also help with complaints about claims management companies (CMCs). If you have a complaint, or you’re a CMC dealing with a complaint, head to the Claims Management Ombudsman website for more information. 

Make a general enquiry

Find out more about contacting us, if you have an enquiry about an ongoing complaint. 

Find out our contact details