Linchpin IFM Ltd (“the Firm”) has implemented a Complaints Handing Policy to ensure that it is able to handle customer complaints quickly, easily and in a transparent manner. Complaints must also be handled fairly and provide consistent outcomes for all customers, as required under the Financial Conduct Authority’s (“FCA’s”) Principle of Treating Customer Fairly.
Linchpin Advisory Ltd (“LAL”), which is a fully owned subsidiary of the Firm, is not registered with the FCA but has chosen to adopt the same policies when handling complaints. Complainants to LAL will by definition not be eligible complainants under the FCA’s rules and so the procedure described under (i) below will be followed.
(I) Procedure for complaints from clients which are not eligible complainants
If a complaint is received from a party which is not an eligible complainant the rules on complaints handling do not apply. However, we will follow the process below:
- Any complaint received, whether verbally or in writing, must be notified to William Bourne in the first instance.
- William Bourne will inquire into the facts surrounding any complaint and attempt to resolve it without delay.
- If appropriate William Bourne will notify either CrossBorder Capital Ltd or Arcus Investment Ltd’s Compliance Officer (as the two FCA authorised and regulated entities which the Firm acts as an Authorised Representative for).
- William Bourne will maintain a file of all complaints received and subsequent correspondence.
(II) Procedure for complaints from clients which are Eligible Complainants
The following complaints procedure should be followed if a complaint is received from an eligible complainant in accordance with Dispute Resolution: Complaints Handbook (DISP) 1.
- If a formal complaint is received it should be referred to William Bourne immediately.
- Where the complaint has been made verbally the client should be asked to put the complaint in writing (e-mail is acceptable). However, it should be noted that failure to do so by the client does not remove the Firm’s obligation to investigate the complaint and treat the customer fairly.
- Complaints should be resolved as soon as possible. The Firm has three business days (after having received the complaint) in which to resolve the complaint. The Firm will not be required to send the complainant a final response letter if the complaint has been resolved within this timeframe.
- However, the Firm is required to send the complainant a summary resolution communication which will contain details of how they can direct their complaint as appropriate to either CrossBorder Capital Ltd or Arcus Investment Ltd’s Compliance Officer (as the two FCA authorised and regulated entities which the Firm acts as an Authorised Representative for), should they be dissatisfied with the resolution provided by the Firm.
- The complaint will be considered closed when the client has accepted the summary resolution by the client or if no response has been received within 10 days, following the provision of the summary resolution.
- Where it has not been possible to resolve a complaint within three business days William Bourne will take responsibility for ensuring its resolution, or if appropriate escalating it to either CrossBorder Capital Ltd or Arcus Investment Ltd.
- Where a complaint cannot be resolved within three business days, the Firm has an obligation to promptly acknowledge the complaint and provide the complainant with a copy (or summary) of its complaint handling procedures.
- The Firm then has an ongoing obligation to keep the complainant informed of the progress of his complaint (DISP1.6).
- The Firm must, by the end of eight weeks after its receipt of a complaint, send the complainant:
- A final response; or
- A written response, which:
- Explains why it is not in a position to make a final response and indicates when it expects to issue one;
- Informs the complainant that she/he may refer the matter to the FOS; and
- Encloses a copy of the FOS explanatory leaflet.
A complaint is closed where the Firm has sent a final response, or the complainant has indicated in writing its acceptance of the Firm’s earlier response.
In addition, the client may, in some circumstances, have the right to make a claim for compensation under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (“FSCS”) in respect of an inability of the Firm to satisfy a claim made against it by the client.