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ombudsman news

issue 5

May 2001

introduction of complaint form for customers of SFA-regulated firms

preparing for the new regime

We have recently introduced a complaints form for customers of firms regulated by the Securities and Futures Authority (SFA) to use if they submit a complaint to us. The use of the form brings the SFA Complaints Bureau into line with the other complaints-handling organisations that form the Financial Ombudsman Service, and is part of our preparations for when the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 comes into force - expected by the end of November 2001.

complaints form

We hope that by standardising the information we require about complaints, the form will make it easier for firms to pinpoint the exact nature of the customer's grievance. As the form also requires customers to specify how they would like the firm to put the matter right, it should enable us to identify at an early stage whether there is a realistic prospect of conciliation.

further information

We recognise that the new framework for handling complaints brings with it some rules and procedures that will be new to SFA-member firms. If you would like us to visit your firm to talk about the new procedures, please contact Caroline Wells, our external liaison manager, on 0207 964 0648, or email

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.