Complaints Handling ProceduresFirst Choice have been established for over 25 years and we seek to always treat our customers fairly, providing you with a professional service.
However unfortunately occasional mistakes can occur - in which case our priority is to try to resolve any issues to your satisfaction as soon as possible.
In the event that you wish to make a complaint about our services in the first instance please contact our company by calling 01663 761 600 and advise that you wish to make a complaint. It would be very helpful if you have details of the nature of the issue to hand.
Alternatively you can write to our offices at:
First Choice Finance
The Old Courtyard
103 Buxton Road
This will initiate our complaints procedure which, for your information, is detailed below along with details of the Financial Ombudsman Service.
In the event that First Choice Finance, a trading style of First Choice Funding Limited (`the Firm` or `Firm`) receives a complaint from an `eligible complainant`, then the Firm will comply with the following procedure:
Initial Procedure1. All complaints, i.e. expressions of dissatisfaction, should be recorded in the issues log. The log should identify whether the complainant has suffered financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience and whether the business the customer is complaining about is regulated or unregulated mortgage contract business or insurance contract business.
2. Wherever possible staff should ensure that the complaint is resolved on the day that the complaint is made or the next business day.
3. Where it has not been possible to resolve the complaint within 24 hours of receiving it and the complainant has suffered financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience then the following procedures should be followed:
- The Compliance Officer should be informed by e-mail and given as much information as possible.
- All incoming documentation (if any) whether hand-written or by email relating to a complaint should be forwarded to the compliance officer.
- The Compliance Officer will record the complaint in the `Complaints Log` and issue the complaint with a unique `Complaint reference number`.
- The Compliance Officer will record in the Complaints Log whether the complaint relates to FCA regulated business or not.
- If the staff members are in any doubt whether the complaint should be forwarded to the Compliance Officer then they should contact the Compliance Officer to discuss the matter.
Complaints Passed To The Compliance OfficerThe Compliance Officer will decide whether to investigate the complaint himself or whether to appoint a suitably qualified senior person not involved in the subject matter of the complaint. This person will have the seniority to investigate the complaint effectively and will have the authority to resolve the matter. All relevant documentation, including facts of the matter and client records, will be made available to the person investigating the complaint.
The person investigating the complaint will firstly assess whether the complaint is one, which is subject to the requirements set out in the FCA’s Dispute Resolution Manual (`DISP`). If the complaint falls into one of the following categories, then the Firm is not subject to the requirements complaints handling procedures set out in DISP:
- The complaint is not made by an eligible complainant, either directly or indirectly; or
- The activity complained of does not relate to an activity which falls within the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Scheme; or
- The complaint does not involve any allegation that the complainant has suffered or is likely to suffer financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience.
Resolution of Eligible ComplaintsIf the Firm cannot resolve the complaint within one business day following receipt of the complaint, it will send a written acknowledgement of the complaint received within 5 business days following its receipt.
The written acknowledgment will:
1. Confirm receipt of the complaint;
2. Identify the person who is to investigate the complaint; and
3. Supply a copy of the Firm’s Complaints Handling Procedure.
The Financial Ombudsman ServiceIf you make an eligible complaint to us about our financial products or services and we have been unable to satisfy the matter you may wish to refer it to the Ombudsman. The normal time frames for this are within 6 months of receiving our final response to you.
The Financial Ombudsman was set up by Parliament to resolve individual complaints between financial businesses and their customers. They can look into problems involving most types of money matters.
You do not pay for their services.
You can visit their website at the address below:
Within 4 weeks of receiving the complaint, the firm will send the complainant either:
1. A Final Response, together with a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s leaflet, setting out how the firm has resolved the complaint and a reminder that the complainant may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme within 6 months of receiving the Final Response; or
2. A Holding Response indicating that the matter is still under investigation and that the Firm will contact the complainant in due course.
Where the matter is not resolved by the Firm within 4 weeks following receipt of the complaint, then within 8 weeks after receipt of the complaint it will send the complainant either:
1. A Final Response, together with a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s leaflet, setting out how the Firm has resolved the complaint and a reminder that the complainant may refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme within 6 months of receiving the Final Response.
2. A response setting out that the Firm is still unable to resolve the matter, together with an indication of when it will be in a position to resolve the complaint, and a reminder that the complainant may have recourse at this stage to the Financial Ombudsman Scheme caused by the delayed resolution of the matter.
Complaints Not Referred To The Compliance OfficerWhere a complaint is not referred to the Compliance Officer then the staff member will handle the complaint unless the Compliance Officer or the staff member’s manager indicates otherwise. When handling a complaint staff should record all the steps taken to resolve the complaint within issues log.
CompensationIn instances where the Firm decides to offer compensation relating to a complaint received, it will ensure that the compensation offer is fair.
Where compensation is to be offered, the Firm will provide the complainant with a reasonable opportunity of at least 7 business days from the date of the offer to consider the offer.
Record KeepingThe Firm will make and retain records of complaints for a minimum period of three years from the date of its receipt of a complaint.
Unsecured Personal Loans
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Established In 1988. Company Registration Number 2316399. Authorised & Regulated By The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). Firm Reference Number 302981. Mortgages & Homeowner Secured Loans Are Secured On Your Home. We Advice Upon & Arrange Mortgages & Loans. We Are Not A Lender.
First Choice Finance is a trading style of First Choice Funding Limited of The Old Courtyard, 103 Buxton Road, High Lane, Stockport, Cheshire. SK6 8DX. Copyright protected.