Complaints Handling Procedure
EPIC has clear guidelines in place on how to deal with and record complaints from existing and former clients, to comply with the regulator´s guidance to provide a prompt and fair handling of the complaints made against the firm.
All complaints are recorded and must be passed over to the compliance officer who handles the firm’s complaint handling procedures.
This policy explains each step, and who to contact at the specific stages throughout the process of the complaint. The policy and procedure distinguish between a ´Concern ´and a ´Complaint´.
The firm will investigate complaints and take whatever action to resolve the matter we think is appropriate. The firm is licenced by the GFSC and therefore the complaints scheme applies to and covers any expression of dissatisfaction about the way we have carried out or failed to carry out our role, including complaints about mistakes, lack of care, unreasonable delay, unprofessional behaviour, bias, and lack of integrity in our business dealings by our staff in their day-to-day work, as well as any (other) breach of regulations.
2. Raising a Complaint
Anyone who is directly affected by the way we have carried out our functions can raise a complaint against us. This includes clients, employees and those authorised to deal with a complaint for someone, such as lawyers or personal representatives.
The complainant should raise their complaint with their regular contact within the firm. If they feel that it is not appropriate, or have no such point of contact, they should contact the CEO. Contact details can be found on our website.
A complaint must be raised in writing (this includes e-mail and fax). To ensure that we can conduct a full investigation we invite the complainant to provide as much detail as possible.
3. Complaint process
Once we have received a complaint, we will decide whether it is a complaint that can be investigated under the complaints process or it can be treated as a concern.
If we consider that it can, it will be entered on the central Complaints Register. The complainant will receive an acknowledgement within five working days of receipt of the complaint.
If we decide not to investigate the complaint and classified the issue as a concern, we will write to the complainant within ten working days to inform you of the result.
If we decide to investigate a complaint, the investigation will be carried out by a senior member of staff, who has not been involved in the matter the complainant has complained about. The complaint will be investigated as quickly as possible. If the investigation is not completed within four weeks, the complainant will be contacted and be given a likely completion date.
We will aim to ensure that we complete the investigation of a complaint within eight weeks.
The complaints process will be as follows:
- Listen to the complaint.
- Record the details of the complaint (email, phonecall recording, note-taking) on central complaints register.
- Verify all the facts and points made.
- Discuss options for resolution with the client.
- Decide whether to formally investigate or not.
- If yes, inform senior management via the CEO.
- Seek to act quickly for an easy resolution.
- Ensure any statements EPIC employees make can be stood over.
- Follow up regularly with the client until complaint is dealt with and client is satisfied.
- Close the complaint when all parties have reached a satisfactory outcome.
Ultimately, all complaints are taken extremely seriously and will be presented to the CEO for consideration and deciding on any additional action or steps in the process.
4. Complaint delays
EPIC will write to the complainant within 21 days from receipt of the complaint to tell you what steps are to be taken to remedy the matter the complainant has complained about. This may include, for example, a suitable apology or a decision to change the way we work.
5. Complaint rejection
We will write to the complainant to give them our reason for rejecting the complaint.
6. Appealing against the outcome
The complainant can refer the complaint to the GFSC. Under the Financial Services Commission Act 2007, if at any time it appears to the GFSC that the firm has failed to comply with any of the provisions of the Act, the GFSC may require the firm to make rectify its actions within a specified time.
The complainant is required to raise the complaint within 12 months of the date on which the complainant first became aware of the circumstances of the complaint. If the complaint was raised after this time, the complainant will only be considered if the complainant can show a good reason for the delay.
The firm will keep complaint records for 5 years following the receipt of the claim.
The firm will not charge for the investigation of a complaint.