Authorised E-Money Issuers (AEMI) have an obligation to handle complaints in a consistent, structured and effective manner, allowing customers, potential customers, or any other individual on behalf of a customer or potential customer, the correct access to any recourse available to them, both internally within the company, and externally with the relevant authority, which is the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) in the UK, or ultimately the Courts. Firms should ensure that they have a written process for dealing with complaints and that all staff who deal with customers, or potential customers, are aware of the process, to ensure that all complaints are identified and dealt with correctly and effectively. By correctly categorising and enquiry as a complaint, they can ensure:
As an AEMI, Wirebloom Ltd (Wirebloom) fully accepts that it has a responsibility to treat customers fairly. It is the policy of Wirebloom to respond to customer complaints as quickly as possible and to take each complaint seriously. The responsibility for the handling and monitoring of complaints lies with the company’s Compliance Officer and nominated Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO).
Wirebloom will always strive to provide an efficient and professional service, and will aim to provide prompt, courteous, helpful, open and informative advice in respect of every communication received. Wirebloom is always keen to receive feedback from its customers about the services it is providing.
Wirebloom will have:
a culture which rewards excellent customer service, especially complaints handling.
a culture which gives the team the authority and support to resolve complaints completely and the confidence to tackle difficult customers
a process which includes handling the many ways customers can complain efficiently – by telephone, by mail, by email, on the company website, and publicly on social
networks – and within the regulatory framework
a policy which requires the provision of prompt, courteous, helpful, open and informative advice in response to every approach made by a customer
a log of all complaints, for Root Cause Analysis and to share with the wider company
Any customer or potential customer has the right to complain about a financial service or product.
Customer enquiries may be categorised as a complaint depending on a number of factors
the way the customer feels about the service they have received;
whether the product or service has performed as expected;
how the member of staff interprets the customer’s comments; and
any number of other factors.
Wirebloom has decided that any member of staff dealing with a customer in a situation where they are unsure whether the customer is making a complaint or not, will deal with it as a complaint. This is to ensure that no situation where a customer is unhappy is missed, and can be remedied effectively.
The definition of a complaint is:
‘……any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction, whether justified or not, from, or on behalf of, a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service or a redress determination, which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience.’
Therefore, all staff will be made aware of this and be fully trained in the identification of a
complaint, and will know how to handle such cases and what the policy and procedure is.
Wirebloom will ensure all customers have access to the Complaints Policy and Procedure upon request, and will include a copy of this document in any written acknowledgement of a complaint, to ensure the customer is aware of his or her rights in following up the complaint.
Wirebloom has an obligation to its customers, who are dissatisfied with the service, to resolve any complaint within 15 days for Rights and Obligations under PSRs 2017 and 8 weeks for all other complaints. The period of time starts from the point of notification from the customer. The final response should either:
accept the complaint and, where appropriate, offer redress or remedial action,
reject the complaint and give full reasons for doing so, and, as a gesture of goodwill, offer redress or remedial action, or
reject the complaint and give full reasons for doing so, without any redress
The final response will include a copy of the FOS’s standard explanatory leaflet and will inform the customer that if he or she remains dissatisfied with the outcome, they may now refer their complaint to the FOS, but must do so within six months.
On occasion of The Company not being able to provide a resolution and a final response within 15 days or 8 weeks depending on the type of complaint, a written response will be sent to the complainant explaining why the company cannot resolve the complaint at this point and will detail when a full and final response will be provided. This communication will also confirm to the complainant that they may now refer the complaint to the FOS, and will enclose a copy of the FOS standard explanatory leaflet, if appropriate.
For complaints about rights and obligations arising under Parts 6 and 7 of the PSRs 2017 (‘a EMD complaint’) the final response will never exceed 35 business days after the day on which it received the complaint.
Making a Complaint
Customers can make a complaint by any reasonable method, and Wirebloom will accept all of these communications as official notification of a complaint. These include:
On the company website
On relevant social media
Wirebloom will require all customers to provide confirmation of the method of response they would prefer, and provide the relevant contact details.
Complaints will normally be directed to the member of staff with whom they have been dealing. In some cases the Compliance Officer will decide that the complaint is serious enough in nature to process the complaint himself.
Where the staff member the customer has dealt with is responding to the complaint, Wirebloom ’s policy dictates that they should use this as an opportunity to explain what actions have been taken and why, and to resolve the customers concerns so that no further issues are outstanding and the customer continues to use the service.
The customer may prefer to speak to the line manager of the member of staff. Requests of this nature are to be adhered to without exception, and refusal of an employee to allow this will result in disciplinary action.
All complaints are recorded and statistics are used internally to improve our service of f erings.
In the event that a complaint is resolved within three business days of receipt, Wirebloom will adhere to regulatory guidelines by not taking the complaint through the official process, however they will also issue a simplified resolution letter to the customer. Details of the complaint will be logged alongside those taken through the process detailed below.
When a member of staff receives a complaint, a written acknowledgement will be provided within 5 business days, starting from the day after the complaint was received (business days are Monday to Friday, excluding bank holidays). The acknowledgement will contain details of the Complaints Procedure and of the customer’s right to refer the complaint to the FOS if they are dissatisfied with Wirebloom’s resolution, or Wirebloom’s failure to resolve the complaint, if applicable.
Where possible, the letter will contain a full account of the investigation activities planned, any initial findings made so far and, if appropriate, any offer of redress.
It will also state who is dealing with the complaint and how to make contact with them (this will normally be the Compliance Officer), and any timescales in which the customer should hear back.
If it is possible to resolve the complaint at this stage, then this should be done, and the resolution should be included as part of this communication. The conditions of the ‘Acknowledgement’ letter still need to be included.
Any further correspondence from the customer, prior to full resolution, should be responded to within 5 business days, and once again confirm who is dealing with the complaint and how to make contact with them.
Once the Compliance Officer has completed the investigation, he will write to the complainant and offer a summary outcome. Where appropriate, it may also include a final offer of redress. Such letters will be marked clearly as the final response and will include details on how to contact the FOS if the complaint has not been resolved to thecomplainant’s satisfaction or, if the offer of redress is considered insufficient or inappropriate.
Wirebloom will issue the Final Response within 15 days or 8 weeks of the initial complaint. However, Wirebloom accepts that this may not always be possible dependent on the complexity of the complaint which may require more time to investigate fully. In these cases, the customer will always be kept informed and Wirebloom will confirm their right to take the complaint to the FOS.
Wirebloom will always abide by regulatory guidelines in relation to a complaint and as such, Wirebloom will always ensure that complainants are kept informed about their complaint and activities in response to their complaint. Under any circumstance, the final response will exceed 35 business days after the day on which it received a complaint for Rights and Obligations under PSRs 2017.
As per requirements, it is Wirebloom’s policy that, after contacting all parties, should the complainant remain dissatisfied with the outcome of the complaint then they may seek redress through the FOS and ultimately the courts if they so wish.
In each instance, the Compliance Officer will mark on the complaint file what advice was provided and will then reclassify the complaint as ‘Investigated but not resolved’.
Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS)
The FOS is an independent and government-backed service designed to help complainants who find themselves in a dispute with a financial organisation.
An eligible complainant must be a person that is:
a retail consumer (a client who receives maximum protection under FCA rules)
a micro-enterprise (with an annual turnover of less than 2 million euros and fewer than 10 employees)
It is a free service and it can be contacted at any point in a dispute providing the complainant has first contacted the financial organisation with whom the dispute relates to. Most cases are resolved within a 6-month period however some inevitably take longer.
Consumers do not have to accept any decision made by the Financial Ombudsman and at all times the consumer has the right to seek redress in a court should they so wish. However if the Ombudsman decision is accepted by the complainant, then it is binding on both the firm and the complainant.
To contact the FOS, consumers are advised to write, telephone, or email their situation to:
Financial Ombudsman Service, Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR
Telephone No.: 0800 023 4567
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information on the FOS can be obtained by visiting www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk or by downloading the booklet entitled “Your complaint and the ombudsman” from this website.
Root Cause Analysis
Wirebloom maintain detailed documentation on individual complaints – any private information will not be shared with any third parties and we comply with the Data Protection Act 2018.
These details will usually include as a minimum;
The nature, date and method of communication of the complaint
The complainant’s details
How the complaint was dealt with (outcomes)
Whether the complaint was upheld or rejected
Whether the complaint was closed (addressed to complainant’s satisfaction) or whether it remains open and outstanding
What financial redress or other significant outcome resulted from the complaint
The Compliance Officer will be responsible for updating the Board on the number of complaints received, the percentage upheld and rejected, and any trends identified.
Where trends exist in the type of complaints being upheld, the Compliance Officer will be responsible for conducting a root cause analysis to establish the cause of the errors and recommend a corrective course of action. The Compliance Officer will identify and remedy any recurring or systemic problems, such as:
analysing the causes of individual complaints so as to identify root causes common to types of complaint,
considering whether such root causes may also affect other processes or products, including those not directly complained of, and
correcting, where reasonable to do so, such root causes.
It is the responsibility of all staff to ensure that records are accurate, up to date, factual and complete at all times. The Compliance Officer is responsible for completing the Complaints Register.
All complaints and supporting documentation will be kept for a period of five years in accordance with regulatory requirements.
Records will be used to identify trends and to improve services offered to customers. This could be anything from policy reviews and process changes to re-training of front line staff, or improving customer communication methods.
An annual report on complaints is submitted to the FCA.