The term “complaint” is generally defined as any written statement of a client or any person acting on behalf of a client alleging a grievance involving the activities of those persons under the control of the Company in connection with the solicitation or execution of any transaction or the disposition of securities or funds of that client – any expression of dissatisfaction. The Company has adopted a policy, which requires a prompt and thorough investigation into any client complaint, and a prompt and fair outcome with appropriate supervisory review.
Employees may not make any payments or other account adjustments to Clients in order to resolve any type of complaint. All such matters must be handled by the Audit Function.
In the event of a client complaint being received the following Company procedure should be followed:
Complaint Recording & Acknowledgement:
- The client complaint to be recorded on the company complaint log immediately upon receipt.
- The client to be contacted by the Compliance / Audit function to acknowledge receipt of the complaint. Written acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint to be issued to the client within 24 hours of receipt.
Complaint Review & Investigation:
- The client to be offered the opportunity to meet with one of the Directors and/or Senior Managers to discuss the nature and detail of the complaint. Any additional evidence to corroborate the complaint to be requested at / or subsequent to this meeting.
- A record of the meeting and any additional information obtained to be fully recorded as part of the complaint review.
- If the client declines to meet with a Company representative, the client decision to be respected and the file noted accordingly.
- The Company to arrange to interview any company representative(s) referenced in the complaint. The interview to be held by a more senior manager, with a witness documenting notes of the interview. This record to form part of the complaint review process.
Complaint Decision Outcome & Communication
- When the complaint has been fully investigated (or as far as possible where client co-operation is restricted); the findings to be reviewed by a Company Director / Senior Manager(s) in conjunction with the Compliance / Audit func-tion to determine the complaint outcome. This can be:
- Complaint fully upheld
- Complaint partially upheld
- Complaint not upheld
- Where the complaint decision is fully/partially upheld, consideration is required as to the action required to remedy the client position to include making appropriate redress for inconvenience and distress.
- Where relevant, the proposed remedial action to be discussed & agreed with any third party (i.e. insurance company).
- All documentation produced as evidence to support the complaint investigation to be made available to the third party (as long as this does not constitute a breach of confidentiality of data protection); in which event, the clients specific consent to be obtained).
- The Company complaint review decision and any proposed remedial action to be communicated to the client in writing. The clients’ agreement to the proposed resolution to be obtained in writing.
- The client to be advised within the letter that they have the right to reject and appeal the proposed remedy within 7 working days in writing.
- If the client accepts the proposed remedy in writing, the company to take immediate action to fulfill the remedial action.
Complaint Appeal Process
- If the client rejects the proposed remedial action OR a complaint not upheld decision; the Company director(s)/Senior Manager(s), Compliance & Audit function to review the case (and any new evidence or information).
- Stages 7 – 14 to be repeated as part of complaint appeals process.
- The client has right to a 2nd appeal; with the complaint to be considered by the Company CEO or representative.
- Stages 7-11 to be repeated.
- If the client agreement is still not obtained, a letter of deadlock to be issued, outlining the reasons supporting the decision.
- The client has right to escalate the complaint to any relevant third party, including the regulator for further case review.
- When a complaint has been received, at the Company discretion; the employee to be requested NOT to make direct contact with the client, pending completion of the complaint review.
- Once a decision has been taken as part of Stage 7 of the Company complaint process, the Company Director(s) / Senior Manager(s) to consider any sanction required against any of the Company employee.
- Sanctions to be considered and applied in accordance with the employee contract and any of the prevailing Com-pany HR policies and procedures.
- Sanctions to include (but not restricted to): verbal warning, written warning with fixed expiry date, written warning with unlimited expiry, 2nd written warning, final written warning, suspension pending further investigation, immediate dismissal.
Documentation & Recording
- All stages of the complaint review to be documented on client file and in the Company Complaint recording system for review (and on the Employee personnel file where relevant).