Complaints Handling Policy

Group Internal Complaints Handling Procedures

  1. Introduction

“The Group” means GHC Group Limited (and any successor companies as applicable) and currently comprises the following Companies:

GHC Wealth Management Limited (598281)

GHC Capital Markets Limited (FRN 152998)

Resilient Fund Managers Ltd (FRN 146853)

and their respective Nominee Companies.

  1. The Rules

Both the MiFID legislation (11/2007) and the FCA Rules (the DISP Dispute Resolution: Complaints Handbook – revised 05/2011 and 08/2015) require a firm to have an internal complaints handling procedure.

The Group shall define a ‘complaint’ as any oral or written expression of dissatisfaction by a person about the provision of, or failure to provide, a financial service, which alleges that the complainant has suffered (or may suffer) financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience.

  1. Consumer awareness rules

To aid consumer awareness of the protections offered by the DISP rules, the firm must:

  • publish appropriate summary details of their internal process for dealing with complaints promptly and fairly: and
  • provide such summary details in writing to eligible complainants:
  • on request; and
  • when acknowledging a complaint.

These summary details must at a minimum cover at least:

  • how the respondent fulfils its obligations to handle and seek to resolve relevant complaints; and
  • that, if the complaint is not resolved, the complainant may be entitled to refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

This briefing paper is to be considered as the publication containing the appropriate summary details and will be sent to all complainants when acknowledging a complaint.

  1. Complaints resolution rules

Once a complaint has been received, the firm must:

  • investigate the complaint competently, diligently and impartially;
  • assess fairly, consistently and promptly:
  • the subject matter of the complaint;
  • whether the complaint should be upheld;
  • what remedial action or redress (or both) may be appropriate;
  • if appropriate, whether it has reasonable grounds to be satisfied that another respondent may be solely or jointly responsible for the matter alleged in the complaint.

Factors that may be relevant in the assessment of a complaint may include the following:

  • all the evidence available and the particular circumstances of the complaint;
  • similarities with other complaints received by the respondent;
  • relevant guidance published by the FCA, other relevant regulators, the FOS or former schemes; and
  • appropriate analysis of decisions by the FOS concerning similar complaints received by the respondent.

Where a complaint against a respondent is referred to the FOS, the respondent must cooperate fully with the FOS, and comply promptly with any settlements or awards made by it.

If a generic complaint has been lodged against the company it is likely that the Compliance manager will respond in the first instance. Where a specific complaint is made (for example, performance of lack of provision of a service or activity) then it will be directed to the relevant department for response. At all times the Compliance manager will be available for advice and assistance.

  1. Complaints time limit rules

On receipt of a complaint, a respondent must:

  • send the complainant a prompt written acknowledgement providing early reassurance that it has received the complaint and is dealing with it; and
  • ensure the complainant is kept informed thereafter of the progress of the measures being taken for the complaint’s resolution.

All complaints are logged onto a database held by the Compliance manager. In practice therefore, within five business days, the Compliance manager will issue the written acknowledgement, or holding letter, required at (1) above. In order to keep a complainant informed as required at (2) a further letter should be sent within four weeks.

Within eight weeks of receiving a complaint the firm must send the complainant a final response, being a written response which:

  • accepts the complaint and, where appropriate, offers redress or remedial action; or
  • offers redress or remedial action without accepting the complaint; or
  • rejects the complaint and gives reasons for doing so;

and which;

  • encloses a copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s standard explanatory leaflet; and
  • informs the complainant that if he remains dissatisfied with the respondent’s response, he may now refer his complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service and in doing so the firm must select the appropriate wording from DISP 1 Annex 3, our default response will be option (1) (or (2) if the circumstances fit), whereby we do not consent to waive the six-month time limit.
  1. Complaints record rule

The firm must keep a record of each complaint received and the measures taken for its resolution and retain that record for a minimum period of five years from the date of its receipt. The record will include the name of the complainant, the nature of the complaint and all correspondence between the firm and the complainant.

  1. FOS eligible complainants

A complaint may only be dealt with under the FOS if it is brought by or on behalf of an eligible complainant. A complaint may be brought on behalf of an eligible complainant (or a deceased person who would have been an eligible complainant) by a person authorised by the eligible complainant or authorised by law. It is immaterial whether the person authorised to act on behalf of an eligible complainant is himself an eligible complainant.

An eligible complainant must be a person that is:

  • a consumer;
  • a micro-enterprise;
  • in relation to a complaint relating wholly or partly to payment services, either at the time of the conclusion of the payment service contract or at the time the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent; or
  • otherwise, at the time the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent;
  • a charity which has an annual income of less than £1 million at the time the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent; or
  • a trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £1 million at the time the complainant refers the complaint to the respondent.

In practice therefore all retail clients of the firm will be eligible complainants. The firm will not have any clients falling within the criteria of (2) above.

The following are not eligible complainants:

  • a professional client; or
  • an eligible counterparty.
  1. FOS time-bar

The FOS can only consider a complaint if:

  • the respondent has already sent the complainant its final response; or
  • eight weeks have elapsed since the respondent received the complaint.

The FOS cannot consider a complaint if the complainant refers it to the FOS:

  • more than six months after the date on which the respondent sent the complainant its final response; or
  • more than:
  • six years after the event complained of; or (if later)
  • three years from the date on which the complainant became aware (or ought reasonably to have become aware) that he had cause for complaint.

If a respondent receives a complaint which is outside the time limits for referral to the FOS it may reject the complaint without considering the merits, but must explain this to the complainant in a final response and indicate that the FOS may waive the time limits in exceptional circumstances.

  1. Complaint oversight

A firm must appoint an individual at the the firm to have responsibility for oversight of the firm’s compliance with the DISP rules. The individual appointed must be carrying out a governing function at the firm.

The individual appointed for overall oversight of the group firms’ compliance is Rachel Hardy (Managing Director). The day to day administration of all complaints is delegated to the Compliance manager.

  1. Conclusion

The above procedure must be adhered to in respect of all complaints. All staff are required to notify any complaints received to the Compliance manager.

This document supersedes all previous procedures relating to complaints handling.