For consumers

How to complain to a financial business

Bringing a complaint to us is straightforward and won't cost you anything – but first you need to have complained to the financial business you’re unhappy with, and give them the chance to put things right for you.


You spot a problem with your financial product or service

If something goes wrong with a financial product or service, you should first contact the financial business and make them aware of what's happened or what the problem is. They should have the chance to sort things out.


Complain to the financial business

  • If the problem is unresolved or you’re not happy with how you’ve been treated, you can make a complaint.
  • Let the business know what the problem is, and how you’d like them to put things right. Most complaints can be resolved directly with the financial business.
  • If you’re not sure how to contact the business to complain, you can usually find information about their complaints process on their website, on their terms and conditions or other paperwork you’ve been sent, or from their customer service teams.
  • The industry regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, also publishes contact details for regulated financial businesses. You can search the FCA register to find the contact details you need.

Keep a record of calls, emails and events

  • Keep a note of the conversations and correspondence you have with the financial business and of any other information or evidence that you think will support your complaint.
  • When you send us your complaint, we will ask you for certain information – it’s usually really helpful if you can provide this upfront, for example, your account number or your customer or complaint reference number. Providing this information when you contact us will help us to work more quickly.

Give the financial business enough time to investigate

  • Financial businesses have up to eight weeks to resolve your complaint, depending on what your complaint is about. They should keep you updated throughout the process.
  • If you feel you’re in a vulnerable position, for example you’re facing severe ill health or financial difficulty, and you need help urgently let the business know as soon as you can.
  • Once they’ve finished looking into things and reached a decision, they will send you a final response letter.
  • The final response will include details of the outcome of your complaint and how to take your complaint further if you remain unhappy. You should read this carefully and keep hold of it, we will ask to see it if you contact us about your complaint.

After the business has investigated your complaint

Once youve had a final response, or if the business has had the time it needs and you have not had a reply, and you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint  you can ask us to investigate. 


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.