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How to make a complaint

From 1st September 2017, the FLA Conciliation Scheme will be closing. 

If you have made a formal complaint to your lender, and have received a Final Response letter which specifically refers to the FLA’s Conciliation Scheme, we may be able to consider your complaint, provided you refer it to us before 31 December 2017.   

No further complaints will be considered under the Scheme after 31 December 2017.

Until the 31st December 2017, we may still be able to consider your complaint under the conciliation scheme if:

  • You have made a complaint to your lender;
  • Your lender has issued a Final Response letter which specifically refers to the FLA’s Conciliation Scheme; and
  • Your complaint meets our eligibility criteria for consideration under the FLA’s Conciliation Scheme. Further information on eligibility criteria is provided below.

If you wish to make a complaint about your lender, you should raise this formally with them.  We are not able to intervene in individual disputes between member firms and their customers.

Since April 2014 all our members are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which sets out specific rules which firms must follow when dealing with complaints made by customers.  These rules allow firms a maximum period of 8 weeks to investigate a complaint and send the customer a “Final Response” letter.  This letter must explain whether or not the firm accepts the complaint and what action, if any, it intends to take. 

If you have referred a complaint to your lender and have received a Final Response letter, but remain dissatisfied, you may be able to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) – so long as it arose after 6 April 2007 when the FOS started providing Ombudsman services for consumer credit.

You can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service by calling one of their consumer helplines:

Monday to Friday – 8am to 8pm

Saturday – 9am to 1pm

  • 0800 023 4 567 calls to this number are normally free for people ringing from a “fixed line” phone – but charges may apply if you call from a mobile phone
  • 0300 123 9 123 calls to this number are charged at the same rate as 01 or 02 numbers on mobile phone tariffs

These numbers may not be available from outside the UK – so callers from abroad should use  +44 20 7964 0500.

For more information, log on to Financial Ombudsman

Eligibility Criteria for the FLA Conciliation Scheme

The FLA’s Lending Code applies to a wide range of consumer credit, hire and lease agreements with consumers but some agreements are excluded:

  • Lending to business, including regulated business lending. These agreements are covered by the FLA Business Lending Code.
  • First mortgages (loans to buy a home) for a residential property;
  • Current accounts and overdrafts; and
  • Long-term savings and investment business.

If your complaint does not relate to an agreement covered by the FLA Lending Code, we will not be able to consider it under the FLA Conciliation Scheme.

Also, if you have already had your complaint considered by the Financial Ombudsman Service or a Court, you complaint cannot be considered by under the FLA Conciliation Scheme.

Payment Protection Insurance (PPI)

Please read this section carefully before submitting a complaint under the FLA Conciliation Scheme.

On 29 August 2017, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) introduced a two year deadline for customers to bring complaints about PPI. Further information to assist you with PPI-related complaints can be found at the Financial Conduct Authority’s PPI website which can be accessed here.   

  • Unfair Relationships: Please note that WE CANNOT CONSIDER complaints relating to non-disclosure of commission linked to the sale of a PPI policy. Whether or not a relationship under a consumer credit agreement is, or is not, unfair is a matter solely for the Courts based on the individual facts as set out in the Consumer Credit Act. The FLA has no role in considering these.
  • Mis-selling complaints: For complaints regarding alleged mis-selling of PPI:

 

  • The FLA will be UNABLE TO CONSIDER your complaint if:

 

  • The lender has indicated that your complaint is outside of the time period that the law allows for you to bring a complaint of this type (for example, using the words ‘Time Barred under the Limitations Act 1980’);
  • The lender that you have complained to has confirmed that although it provided the finance for your loan, another company sold the PPI policy to you (for example, a broker, a car dealer or a window company representative); or
  • You have NO NEW INFORMATION to support your complaint.

 

  • The FLA MAY CONSIDER your complaint if:

 

  • You have NEW INFORMATION to support your complaint which the company you complained to previously has not seen before (for example evidence that you were otherwise ineligible for the policy); or
  • You were unemployed when the policy was sold to you. You will be asked to provide information to show that you were unemployed at the time (for example, details of National Insurance Contributions for the year the policy was taken out.

 

WHAT YOU CAN DO NEXT: As we are unable to deal with your complaint, you may want to consider taking legal advice on any alternative options available to you.

 

Reports of breaches of our Lending Code

Our members are required to comply with our Lending Code, which summarises how you can expect to be treated by our members.  If you believe that one of our members has not complied with an aspect of the Code, you can send us details via email code@fla.org.uk. We are interested to hear about this, as we actively monitor members’ compliance and will take matters up with members internally, if appropriate. Please note, however, that we will not be able to comment or advise on individual complaints or disputes. We will also not be able to reply to you or to advise you of the outcome of our consideration of any reported breaches.

Please check the list of Full FLA Members to make sure your lender is one of our members, and therefore required to comply with our Lending Code.  If your lender’s name doesn’t appear on the list, it may be that they are using a different trading name.  Check your credit agreement to see if there is another name