The FSA and Bank of England have set out how complaints against the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority will be dealt with.
The Government announced in January that a single complaints commissioner will assess complaints across both the FCA and PRA.
The FSA and the Bank jointly published a consultation this week which proposes complaints will first be investigated by the regulators. If the complainant remains unsatisfied they can refer their complaint to the complaints commissioner.
The commissioner and his staff must not be employees of the regulators and are required to “act independently of, and without favouring, the regulators”.
They will consider complaints that allege mistakes and lack of care, unreasonable delay, unprofessional behaviour, bias and lack of integrity.
Complaints about the Financial Ombudsman Service, Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Money Advice Service will be excluded.
The current complaints commissioner Sir Anthony Holland will remain in place until April 2014 and the tenure of subsequent complaints commissioners will be three years.
The proposals say complaints should be made within 12 months of the date on which the complainant first became aware of the problem. Complaints made later than this will only be investigated where the complainant can show reasonable grounds for delay.
The FSA says: “No charge will be made by the regulators or by the complaints commissioner to those who use the scheme.”
Plan Money director Peter Chadborn says: “It is important the regulators deal with complaints in a uniform and transparent manner.”