We are also subject to the rules of the Financial Conduct Authority. In general terms, these rules give customers who are unable to satisfactorily resolve a complaint against us, the right to have this reviewed by an independent organisation called the Financial Ombudsman Service.
We hope that our complaints procedure will resolve any complaint without the need for you to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service. Please note that the Financial Ombudsman Service will not investigate your complaint before the Society’s complaints procedure has been exhausted, and you have received a letter from the Society giving its final response to your complaint.
These are the steps in our complaints procedure. At every stage we promise to listen, act fairly and to do everything we can to try to resolve your complaint.
If you have a problem relating to the Society, please discuss this with one of our Branch Managers. Alternatively, you can telephone our Customer Services Team on 01228 403141 or write directly to the Complaints Team at Cumberland House, Cooper Way, Parkhouse, Carlisle. CA3 0JF.
Our aim is to deal with your problem sympathetically, fairly and quickly.
We will try to resolve the matter within 3 business days following the day on which you raised your complaint, although whether that is possible will depend upon the nature of your complaint.
If we believe your complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction within 3 business days following the day on which you raised your complaint, you will receive a letter confirming this from the Manager who has been dealing with the complaint.
If we do not believe that your complaint has been resolved to your satisfaction within 3 business days following the day on which you raised your complaint, it will be forwarded to the Society’s Complaints Team to investigate further. A letter of acknowledgement will be sent to you from the Complaints Team within 5 business days of the day that you initially raised the matter. The acknowledgement letter will:
You may also be asked for additional information if this is required to assist in resolving the matter.
In all but very exceptional cases, we aim to provide you with the Society’s final response within 56 days of receipt of your complaint. This response will be accompanied by the Financial Ombudsman Service’s explanatory leaflet.
If you are still not satisfied with the action taken by the Society and its final response to your complaint, you can write to the Financial Ombudsman Service at Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR within six months of the date of the Society's final response letter.(Telephone: 0300 123 9123 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your letter should give details of your complaint and enclose copies of correspondence you have had with the Society, and any other relevant documents. You should also tell the Financial Ombudsman Service that you have followed the Society’s Complaints Procedure but you are unhappy with the outcome.
Please remember that the Financial Ombudsman Service cannot investigate your complaint until we have given you our final response letter, unless we have not done this within 56 days following receipt of your complaint.
In these very exceptional cases, we will write to you to explain why this has not been possible, indicate when we expect to be able to make a final response, inform you that you may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service, and enclose a copy of its explanatory leaflet.
The Financial Ombudsman Service will consider your complaint free of charge, taking into account any points made by you and the Society.
The Financial Ombudsman Service will refuse to investigate a complaint where you have not contacted them within six months of the Society’s final response letter, to tell them you are still dissatisfied and there are no “exceptional circumstances” as to why this is the case.
Having investigated a complaint, the Financial Ombudsman Service will decide whether it agrees with your complaint and whether any further action is necessary. A date will be set by which you must respond to the Financial Ombudsman Service’s decision.
If you do accept the decision within this time limit, it is normally final and binding on both yourself and the Society, although in exceptional circumstances the matter may be open to judicial review.
If you do not respond within the stated time limit, or do not accept the Financial Ombudsman Service’s decision, then the Society is not bound by it.
The European Union has an Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform which may assist in resolving disputes about online services. The ODR platform can be accessed at the Online Dispute Resolution section of the European Commission official website.
Additional information can be found in the leaflets ‘Complaints about banking services’, ‘Endowment mortgage complaints’ and ‘Making a Complaint’ which are available from the Money Advice Service website.