The Complaints Commissioner has dismissed a complaint from a firm which disputed paying a £250 fee for filing its Gabriel return late, claiming it was affected by a flood.
According to the Complaints Commissioner’s decision the FCA rejected the initial complaint because the return was filed late, the firm was sent several reminders, and no details were given about the flood that the firm said impacted its business before the filing deadline.
The FCA offered to consider further details of the flood if the firm supplied them.
The Complaints Commissioner said it wrote to the firm’s representative after the regulator rejected the complaint to get the firm’s reasons for disagreeing with the FCA’s decision, but it did not reply.
The Complaints Commissioner discovered that the firm first contacted the FCA more than six months after the first request to register on Gabriel and more than three weeks after the return deadline.
The decision says: “From the record, it seems clear that the FCA took all proper steps to inform your client’s firm about what it needed to do to complete the Gabriel return, including sending two reminders.”
According to the decision, the late returns fee is designed to cover the FCA’s costs in pursuing late returns.
The decision says: “In the circumstances I think it was reasonable for the FCA to charge your client – particularly since he has been given a further opportunity to send in details of the flood, which he says prevented him from completing his return.”