Complaints

Last updated on 08/02/2024

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COMPLAINT PROCEDURE – FINANCIAL ISSUES

As a member of the Association of British Credit Unions, and part of the World Council of Credit Unions, The Credit Union aims to provide members with quality financial services.

We welcome feedback from members and will use this feedback to improve services for all members and to work to put things right for members who are dissatisfied with our service.

This procedure sets out how a complaint can be made to the credit union, and how the complaint will be investigated and responded to.

DEFINITION OF A COMPLAINT AND ELIGIBLE COMPLAINANTS

A complaint is any expression of dissatisfaction, whether written or oral and whether justified or not, from or on behalf of an eligible complainant about the credit union’s provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service that has resulted in financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience, or the potential for such a loss or
inconvenience to occur.

An eligible complainant is:

• a credit union member or junior saver, or potential or former member or junior
saver
• a nominated beneficiary or personal representative of one of the persons above
• a business with a turnover of less than £1million

Thamesbank Credit Union asserts its right to make appropriate business decisions about any area of operation, including admission of new members to membership and individual eligibility for credit, as referenced in its membership and loan policies.

Complaints will be handled fairly, consistently and promptly – in line with our Equal Opportunities Policy.

RECEIVING A COMPLAINT

Any officer or volunteer of the credit union can receive a complaint at any place that the credit union conducts business. The complaint may be made in writing or orally to an officer or volunteer, in person, by letter or by email.

The officer or volunteer receiving the complaint shall record the following information:

• Name, address and contact details of the complainant
• Membership number of the complainant (if a member)
• Date and time the complaint was received
• Date and time the complaint occurred
• Substance of the complaint
• Type of complaint (e.g. financial loss, distress or inconvenience, or the potential for
such)
• Name of person receiving the complaint
• Action taken when receiving the complaint (e.g. apology offered, provided copy of internal complaints procedure, provided other information)
• Date complaint passed to the Complaints Officer responsible

The information recorded will be shown to the complainant. It is not necessary for the complainant to sign to confirm the information recorded.

This information will be stored in the complaints register.

All complaints shall be addressed to the Complaints Officer.

INVESTIGATING A COMPLAINT
The Complaints Officer will be responsible investigating the complaint and taking appropriate action.

If the Complaints Officer is the subject of the complaint the Chair of the Board will delegate action and investigation to the person nominated to substitute in such circumstances as soon as the complaint is received.

The Complaints Officer is:
Edward de Waal
edward.dewaal@thamesbank.org

A thorough investigation will be undertaken upon the receipt of a complaint.

Appropriate actions will be taken to identify and remedy any recurring or systematic problems as well as any specific problem identified by a complaint.

RESPONDING TO COMPLAINTS
The credit union aims to resolve the complaint to the complainant’s satisfaction as speedily as possible.

Within a day
The credit union aims to resolve complaints to the complainant’s satisfaction by the close of business on the next business day after the day on which the complaint was received. Complaints satisfactorily resolved and completed within this time period will be recorded as satisfactorily completed and will not be included in the annual report to the FCA. The records of such complaints are not required to be kept for three years.

Within 7 days
If the complaint cannot be resolved quickly, an acknowledgement will be sent to the complainant within 7 days of receipt.
The acknowledgement will include the following information
• The name or job title of the person handling the complaint
• The credit union’s internal complaint handling procedure

Within 8 weeks
If still unresolved within 8 weeks of receiving the complaint, the credit union will send the complainant:

• A final response, or
• A response that explains the delay and advises the complainant when the final response can be expected. The complainant will be asked whether s/he is willing to extend the time for the investigation to be completed. The complainant will be advised that if dissatisfied with the delay s/he can refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Details of the Financial Ombudsman Service consumer leaflet will be included in the response.

FINAL RESPONSE
It is the credit unions intention to provide a complainant with a satisfactory response within 8 weeks of receipt of the complaint.

The final response will include:

• a summary of the complaint
• a summary of the investigation into the complaint
• the credit union’s views on the issues raised in the complaint
• whether the credit union acknowledges it had been at fault in any way
• details of any redress or offer made to settle the complaint
• the complainants right to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if remaining unsatisfied with the final response form the credit union
• details of the Financial Ombudsman Service consumer leaflet

REDRESS TO COMPLAINANTS
The credit union will ensure that all complainants receive an apology.

The credit union will seek to improve its service to all members as a result of complaints received.

If appropriate the Complaints Officer investigating the complaint will have the authority to offer an appropriate level of financial compensation as final settlement up to an amount no greater than £50. If an amount greater than this is considered appropriate the decision will be referred to the Board to determine. At all times, any financial redress offered will not be greater than any actual financial loss incurred and will be dependent on the circumstances of the individual complaint.

RECORDS AND REPORTING
The credit union will keep all records of complaints taking more than the following business day to complete for a period of three years. The credit union will make an annual report to the FCA on the number and type of complaints handled by the credit union.

FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN SERVICE
If a complainant remains dissatisfied at the completion of the credit union’s internal procedures and receipt of a final response, the complaint may be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service. Referral should take place within 6 months of the final response letter.

The credit union will co-operate with any investigation undertaken by the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Financial Ombudsman Service is free to members and consumers. They can be contacted at:

Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR
Phone: 0800 023 4567 (calls to this number are now free from mobile phones and landlines) or 0300 123 9123 (calls to this number cost no more than calls to 01 and 02 numbers)
E-mail: complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk
Website: www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk

 

REVIEWED: 8.2.2024 – update to FOB contact numbers