Internal Complaints Procedure
Thank you for deciding to take one of our products or services. We do hope that you will find our customer service to be of the highest standard. If, however, we fail to carry out your business to your satisfaction you may seek redress by means of our Internal Complaints Procedure.
The Society is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA), and is entered in its Register under number 161841. The Society is a member of the Building Societies Association and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. We co-operate fully with the Financial Ombudsman Service in the operation of our Internal Complaints Procedure.
How do I make a complaint?
If you complain on the telephone or face to face to a member of staff you will be asked if you want to complain formally using the Society's Internal Complaints Procedure. If so, you will be asked to complete a Member's Complaint Form that will be posted out or handed to you.
On the day of receipt of the completed Member's Complaint Form a competent member of staff will seek to discuss the complaint with you and resolve it. If a meeting or telephone discussion cannot be arranged, we will send you a written acknowledgement by close of business on the day following receipt of your complaint. If the completed form is presented by you to a member of staff we will attempt to resolve the complaint for you on the spot.
If you submit your complaint in writing a competent member of staff will seek to discuss the complaint with you and resolve it. If a meeting or telephone discussion cannot be arranged, we will send you a written acknowledgement by close of business on the day following receipt of your complaint.
What happens after I receive written acknowledgement of my complaint?
Your complaint will be referred to the Branch Manager or appropriate Head of Department or Senior Manager at the Society's Head Office. Within four weeks you will receive either a holding response or a final response.
What is a holding response?
This will be a letter that explains why we are not in a position to resolve the complaint and when we will make further contact. We will make further contact within eight weeks of the date that you made your initial complaint.
What happens when the Society makes further contact?
We will aim to provide you with a final response along one of the following lines:
- accepting the complaint and, where appropriate, offering redress, or
- rejecting the complaint and giving the reasons for doing so and providing information about
your right to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. You have 6 months from the date of the final response to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service. An explanatory leaflet will be enclosed.
If, after the eight week period, we remain unable to make a final response we will write to you giving reasons for the further delay and indicating when a final response will be available. We will also inform you that you may refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman if you are dissatisfied with the delay. An explanatory leaflet will be enclosed.
What happens if I complain to the Financial Ombudsman?
He/she will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and will give the Society a further opportunity to settle the matter with you. Failing this, the Society will be asked to provide a report to the Ombudsman within a set time period. The Ombudsman will then make a ruling that both parties are obliged to accept. Neither party to the dispute has the right to appeal the Ombudsman's decision. Full details of the Financial Ombudsman Service are contained in an explanatory leaflet that is available from any of our branches.