Complaints Policy and Procedures
Charles Schwab, U.K., Limited ("CSUK")'s intention is always to provide all clients with the highest quality of service and to act in their best interests at all times. Occasionally, however, a client may feel they have a cause for complaint regarding the service, or part of the service, provided, or failure to be provided, by CSUK. This summary outlines who is an 'eligible complainant' and the process and timeline that CSUK will follow when dealing with any complaint brought by a client.
Financial Conduct Authority and Financial Ombudsman Service
Charles Schwab, U.K., Limited (FRN: 225116) is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
As part of its statutory obligation, the FCA has established the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which has the power to consider, arbitrate and settle complaints between FCA authorised firms and an 'eligible complainant' where the parties have been unable to resolve the matter themselves, or a client is not satisfied with the way in which a firm has dealt with the client’s complaint.
Only complaints by persons (or on behalf of persons) who are 'eligible complainants' (as defined by the FCA) may be made to the FOS. Not all clients would accordingly be able to make a complaint to the FOS, i.e. clients who are categorised as professional or eligible counterparties are generally not regarded as being 'eligible complainants', which for the purposes of the type of businesses that CSUK carries on, are the following persons:
- a consumer (being a natural person acting for purposes outside his trade, business or profession);
- a micro enterprise (being an enterprise that employs fewer than 10 persons and has a turnover or annual balance sheet that does not exceed €2m);
- a charity with an annual income of less than £1 million; or
- a trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £1 million.
If you have a complaint, please advise us at the following address:
Head Office: 33 Ludgate Hill, London, EC4M 7JN, UK
Phone: +44 20 3795 2704
To enable us to resolve your complaint as quickly as possible, please provide us with the following information:
- the name, address, contact phone number and email address of the complainant; or
- the name and address of the organisation you represent, if you are making a complaint on behalf of an eligible complainant as well as the name and contact details of the person at the organisation who is making the complaint on behalf of an eligible complainant; and
- the account number or other reference for the account that the complaint relates to; and
- details of the complaint, including relevant references and dates.
Time limits for handling complaints
Once we receive a complaint we will endeavour to resolve it as fairly and as quickly as possible, either informally or formally.
Informally resolved complaints
If a client makes a complaint to us that we are able to resolve informally within three business days of the complaint being received, we will do so. In that event, we will issue a Summary Resolution Communication (SRC) to the complainant which will include the following content which has been prescribed by the FCA:
• A statement that CSUK considers the complaint to be resolved;
• A statement that the complainant may refer the complaint to the FOS if they subsequently decide that they are dissatisfied;
• The website address for the FOS and comment that further information is available there; and
• Whether CSUK consents to waive the six-month time limit for referring the complaint to the FOS.
Formally resolved complaints
Where we are unable to resolve the complaint informally we will follow the formal 'eight-week process', as follows:
- We will promptly issue a written acknowledgement of the complaint after receipt or failure to resolve it informally (the Date of Receipt), stating that the complaint has been received and is being dealt with or that we have been unable to deal with it informally and it will be dealt with formally;
- Thereafter, we will keep the complainant informed of the progress of the complaint including the steps taken to resolve the complaint;
- Within eight weeks of the date of Receipt, CSUK will issue a written 'final response' to the complainant 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;
- encloses a copy of the FOS's standard explanatory leaflet;
- provides the website address of the FOS;
- informs the complainant that if they remain dissatisfied with the Company's response, they may now refer the complaint to the FOS and must do so within six months; and
- indicates whether, or not, CSUK consents to waive the relevant time limits.
If at the end of the eight-week period, CSUK is not yet in a position issue a 'final response', it will send a written response to the complainant which;
- explains why CSUK is not in a position to make a final response and indicates when it expects to be able to provide one;
- informs the complainant that they may now refer the complaint to the FOS;
- indicates whether, or not, CSUK consents to waive the relevant time limits;
- encloses a copy of the FOS standard explanatory leaflet; and
- provides the website address of the FOS.
If CSUK is unable to issue a final response or it does so, but the complainant is not satisfied with the final response, the complainant has six months to refer the matter to the FOS.
Further information about the FOS may be obtained from:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower, London E14 9SR
Telephone: 020 7964 1000 (Open 9am-5pm Monday-Friday)