The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) and the Bank of England have finalised a revised scheme for those who have complaints about the regulators, following a consultation.
The revised scheme provides clarity around what people can expect when they complain, making it more transparent and user-friendly.
Complaints are a valuable source of feedback that inform changes and improvements across the regulators. According to their joint statement, regulators take all complaints seriously and welcome the transparency and accountability that the scheme provides.
The regulators further noted that they carefully considered the responses received to their consultation. They have confirmed that they will consider making a discretionary payment in recognition of financial loss if they have made a clear and significant error, and they are the sole or primary cause of that financial loss.
In response to feedback, the regulators have removed the proposal that no compensatory payment relating to a financial loss will exceed £10,000, save in exceptional circumstances.
The regulators have increased the levels of discretionary compensatory payments for non-financial loss and provided more clarity on eligibility. The appropriateness of these levels will be reviewed every 2 years. The regulators believe these changes balance the statutory immunity of the regulators provided by Parliament against the need to make compensatory payments when at fault.
While the approach to compensatory payments has been made clearer, in practice it is expected payments made under the Scheme will continue to be modest.
The Complaints Scheme is not an alternative route to consumer redress for the actions or inactions of firms. Consumers have access to recourse through the firm, and redress may be available through the Financial Ombudsman Service or the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.
The new scheme will apply from 1 November 2023. Complaints made prior to this date will be considered under the existing scheme.