The Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner has published its final report on FCA00865.
The relevant complaint against the FCA (and FOS) constituted five separate elements, including the FCA’s delay in answering questions and queries (meaning the information requested from it was received after the date of the court case for which it was requested). Another element of the complaint involved the complainant having to chase the FCA for an agreed ex gratia payment due to an administrative error. Finally, the complainant only found out long after the event that FCA had in fact taken action against the relevant firm relevant the matter complained about, and was upset that FCA had not told the complainant about this.
In its decision, the Complaints Commissioner said that:
- it was unfortunate that FCA did not send information within the timescales requested, but it had no duty to do this and the Complaints Commissioner could not opine on it;
- due to section 348 FSMA, there is no general right for members of the public to know the outcome of reports that they make in respect of firms. The Commissioner further explained its own duty to respect confidentiality, accepting that in some scenarios, such as this one, complainants may receive few details in explanation of the Commissioner’s decision decision; but
- FCA’s website is misleading in respect of the ability to complain about firms. While FCA will not deal with consumer complaints, it does not mean consumers cannot provide it with information. Also, they can do this alongside complaining to the firm and to FOS. Many complainants exhausted the FOS process and then went to FCA to be told they were out of time. The Complaints Commissioner recommended FCA clarify the position in this respect.