Any complaints or concerns should be directed to the Complaints Officer (by telephone, facsimile, or letter) at the address and telephone/fax numbers provided on the “contact us” page
We will provide acknowledgement of receipt of written complaints within 2 business days and seek to resolve and respond to complaints within 5-7 business days of receipt. We will investigate your complaint and provide you with our decision, including the reasons on which it is based, in writing.
If you are dissatisfied with the outcome, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority, an approved external dispute resolution scheme of which IFS is a member.
FINANCIAL CONDUCT AUTHORITY
If you are unhappy with a financial product or service, you can complain.
To make the process easier, follow these 4 steps to making a complaint:
Contact the firm directly If you have a complaint, it is best to first ask the firm involved to put things right. Contact the firm as soon as possible. It is usually best to write to them so you have a record of what you say. Financial firms we regulate must respond to your complaint in writing within 8 weeks, telling you whether the complaint has been successful or why they need more time to look into it. Firms are also required to respond in writing just to let you know they have received your complaint. So be sure you have a final response or it has been 8 weeks since you complained before you contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (link is external) , as in Step 3.
Step 2: Make the complaint yourself
There are many companies that offer to complain on your behalf, usually known as claim handlers, claims firms or claims management companies (CMCs). But making a complaint to a firm or the Financial Ombudsman Service (link is external) is a free, simple process you can do yourself. You can get free help from the Financial Ombudsman Service, or organizations like Citizens Advice and the Pensions Advisory Service (link is external) , if you need it. If you do decide to use a claim handler you should carefully consider whether to pay an upfront fee before your complaint is submitted, as there is no guarantee it will be successful and you could be left out of pocket. The 'no win, no fee' approach often advertised may seem more appealing than paying money up front. But it can mean paying as much as 30% (plus VAT) of any refund or compensation to a claims company.
Step 3: Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service
If you are not happy with the firm’s response, they reject your complaint or you do not hear from them within 8 weeks, the Financial Ombudsman Service (link is external) may be able to help you. It is a free, independent service for settling disputes between financial services firms and their customers. It can deal with complaints about a wide range of financial matters – from pet insurance to stocks and shares. The Financial Ombudsman Service will ask the financial firm to explain what it thinks happened and then decide whether to uphold your complaint. It is important you contact the Financial Ombudsman Service within 6 months of receiving a final response from the firm, or it may not be able to deal with your complaint.
Step 4: Take the matter to court
If you do not want to accept a decision by the Financial Ombudsman Service and you have not used an independent complaints scheme, as a last resort you may be able to take your case to court. You would usually start civil legal action in the county courts or High Court (in England, Wales and Northern Ireland), depending on the circumstances of the case. In Scotland, most small claims are started in the Sheriff Courts.