The PSR Complaints Scheme
We have set up a process for investigating complaints made against us.
The PSR Complaints Scheme (the Complaints Scheme) has been in operation since 1 April 2015. This page explains how the Complaints Scheme works.
You can find full details in the Complaints Scheme document.
Anyone who is directly affected and dissatisfied with something we have done or not done – or anyone acting on their behalf – can file a complaint against us. You must make your complaint within 12 months of the date on which you first became aware of the issue you are complaining about, unless you can give valid reasons for the delay.
In some circumstances we may not investigate a complaint.
There are two stages to the Complaints Scheme:
- In Stage 1, we will investigate your complaint ourselves.
- If you are unhappy with the outcome of our investigation, you can move to Stage 2, and the independent Complaints Commissioner will investigate your complaint.
It is also not an alternative to the use of other regulators, such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who may be best placed to deal with matters that fall within their remit. As far as possible, we will tell you which authorities or institutions may be better able to help you.
Our Complaints Scheme is based on the statutory Complaints Scheme run jointly by the Bank of England, the FCA and the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA), but is separate from it. We share the same independent Complaints Commissioner. However, if your complaint is about the actions or inactions of the Bank of England, the FCA or the PRA, please contact their statutory Complaints Scheme using the details at the end of this page.
If you are a consumer or business who has had a problem making payments or transferring funds, making a complaint about us is unlikely to be the right course of action, and you should instead first speak with your bank or financial services provider. The Financial Ombudsman Service may also be able to help.
We may amend the Scheme from time to time. Any changes to the Scheme will be notified to the Complaints Commissioner at least 20 business days before they come into effect.
Overview of the process
Before you make a complaint to us, you should have exhausted other means of resolving your complaint.
For example, if you want to complain about a member of our staff, we would expect you to have already raised the matter with them or their manager.
At Stage 1, complaints are normally dealt with by our complaints team. If you aren’t satisfied with the outcome of the Stage 1 review, or the progress of our investigation into your complaint, you can refer the complaint to the independent Complaints Commissioner. The Office of the Complaints Commissioner will consider whether to carry out their own investigation (Stage 2 review).
A complaint is defined as ‘any expression of dissatisfaction about the manner in which the PSR has carried out, or failed to carry out, its functions’.
Some complaints are excluded from the Complaints Scheme. These include complaints about:
- our relationship with our employees
- contractual or commercial disputes involving the PSR and not connected with the exercise of our functions
- our performance or non-performance of our regulatory and competition functions, which are excluded from the Complaints Scheme (for example, issuing directions, exercising our competition powers or giving guidance – see the Complaints Scheme for the full description of ‘excluded functions’)
- the action, or inactions, of the FOS, the FSCS, the FCA or any other regulator or authority
We won’t investigate a complaint which we reasonably consider amounts to no more than dissatisfaction with our general policies or with our exercise of, or failure to exercise, a discretion where no unreasonable, unprofessional or other misconduct is alleged.
We also won’t investigate a complaint which we reasonably consider could have been, or would be, more appropriately dealt with in another way (for example by making an appeal or bringing other legal proceedings).
How does the Complaints Scheme work?
We take complaints seriously. We endeavour to handle and resolve them quickly and impartially, while treating you with courtesy and sensitivity.
We investigate all valid complaints thoroughly, and pass lessons learned to our senior management and our organisation to help us continually improve our performance.
We may decide it is appropriate for the area of the PSR your complaint is about to deal with it themselves – for example, if your complaint is about a minor administrative mistake or a delay in responding to correspondence. We will tell you if this is the case.
In such a case, if you believe your complaint has not been resolved or you are otherwise dissatisfied with the way it has been dealt with, you can refer the complaint back for a Stage 1 investigation. If that is the case, we will acknowledge this complaint within five business days of receiving your referral.
Stage 1: Investigation of complaints by the PSR
We will acknowledge your complaint within five working days from the day we receive it, if it looks like it falls within the scope of the Complaints Scheme.
Within 20 working days of receiving your complaint, we will tell you if:
- your complaint falls within the scope of the Complaints Scheme and is being investigated, and the timescales for investigation
- your complaint does not fall within the scope of the Complaints Scheme, and the reasons why, so that you can refer the matter to the Complaints Commissioner to review this decision if you want to
If we decide your complaint is not within scope, we will tell you how you can ask the Complaints Commissioner to review this decision.
We will keep you informed at regular intervals on the progress of your complaint. We aim to complete our investigation within eight weeks. We will tell you if we expect it to take longer.
Stage 2: Referral to the Office of the Complaints Commissioner
You have the right to refer your complaint to the Office of the Complaints Commissioner if
- we decide not to uphold your complaint, or
- you are not happy with the progress or outcome of our Stage 1 investigation, or the way we have dealt with your complaint
We will tell you if you can do this, and what to do. You must refer your complaint to the Complaints Commissioner for a Stage 2 review within three months of the date of our final decision letter for Stage 1.
The Complaints Commissioner has the discretion to decide whether your complaint falls within the scope of the Complaints Scheme and, if so, whether they propose to conduct their own Stage 2 investigation. The Complaints Commissioner will independently oversee and assess the Stage 2 investigation of complaints under the Complaints Scheme.
If your complaint is upheld, we will tell you what we propose to do. The remedies we might offer include:
- an apology
- taking steps to rectify an error
- a goodwill payment
At Stage 1, if we conclude that your complaint is not justified, we will give you our reasons. If you are not satisfied with the outcome, you may refer the matter to the Complaints Commissioner for a Stage 2 review.
The Complaints Commissioner can offer the same remedies as we can at Stage 2, or may reject your complaint as not being justified or as being outside the scope of the Complaints Scheme.
You can find more about possible outcomes and remedies here.
How to make a complaint
You can make a complaint in writing by downloading and filling in a complaint form, or by writing to us using the contact details below:
Post: The Payment Systems Regulator
(PSR Complaints Team)
12 Endeavour Square
Other relevant contact details
Office of the Complaints Commissioner
The Office of the Complaints Commissioner
23 Austin Friars
London EC2N 2QP
The Financial Ombudsman Service
London E14 9SR
Telephone: 0800 0234 567 (free from a fixed line)
or 0300 123 9 123 (free for some mobile phone users)
Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)
Complaints against the regulators
12 Endeavour Square
Complaints helpline: 020 7066 9870