Agents Complaints Guidelines
Guide for Employees: Handling and resolving complaints from members relating to their members' agent and/or managing agent.
1.1 It is important that complaints made to the Corporation of Lloyd's by members and former members of the Society ("members") regarding their members' agent and/or their managing agent are handled quickly, fairly and in accordance with requirements that the FCA has imposed on Lloyd's 1.
1.2 If you receive a complaint from a member about his or her members' agent and/or managing agent then you should follow the guidance set out in sections 2-6 below:
2. Initial steps
Complaints made orally
2.1 If you receive a complaint about an agent whilst speaking to a member, tell him or her that they may refer their complaint to Syndicate Capability Oversight provided that they have previously raised their complaint with the agent(s) concerned. If the member has not previously referred his or her complaint to the agent(s) concerned then they should be requested to do so.
2.2 If the member has previously referred his or her complaint to the agent(s) concerned, request the member to write to the Head of Syndicate Capability Oversight with details their complaint together with copies of all relevant correspondence and other supporting information. The member may wish to communicate by post, fax or email. Provide him or her with the relevant contact details:
One Lime Street
Tel: 0207 327 5971
Complaints made in writing
2.3 If you receive a written complaint about an agent from a member, you should forward it to the Head of Syndicate Capability Oversight. Arrangements will then be made for someone to deal with the complaint. That person may be someone in Syndicate Capability Oversight or someone in another department and, where possible, it will not be someone who has been involved in the subject matter of the complaint.
3. Investigating the complaint
3.1 The FCA requires complaints to be resolved speedily at the earliest stage possible.
3.2 If you have agreed or been asked to deal with a complaint, you should promptly send a letter to the member acknowledging his or her complaint and indicating when a substantive response will be sent. You should enclose a copy of these guidelines with your letter.
3.3 You should investigate the complaint thoroughly and fairly. Accordingly you should contact the agent who is the subject of the complaint to put the member's allegations to it for its comments. You should also speak to any of your colleagues who are referred to in the complaint. You should then seek supplementary information from the member and others as necessary. Where appropriate you should ask the agent about whom complaint is made whether it proposes to offer the member financial or other redress 2 and, if so, you should obtain details of the agent's offer and (once known) the Member's response to that offer.
3.4 If you were involved in the matter about which a complaint is made you should make arrangements to have your investigation reviewed by someone who was not so involved.
3.5 You should aim to respond to the member's complaint within four weeks from its receipt. If you cannot do so, you should send a letter to the member within this period explaining why and indicating when a substantive response will be sent.
3.6 If it becomes apparent that you will not be able to respond substantively to the member's complaint within eight weeks from its receipt, you should send a letter to the member within this period explaining why and indicating when a substantive response will be sent. In your letter you should inform the member that he or she may have the right to have their complaint determined under Lloyd's Arbitration Scheme for Members and Underwriting Agents and you should provide him or her with details of that scheme (see paragraph 4.2 below).
4. Written responses
4.1 You should prepare a written response to the Member's complaint setting out the findings of your investigation and whether you accept the member's complaint or whether you reject it. If you reject the member's complaint you should give reasons for your decision.
4.2 Your response must include the following paragraph: "If you are dissatisfied with this response you may be able to have your complaint determined under Lloyd's Arbitration Scheme for Members and Underwriting Agents. I attach details of that scheme for your information." Details of Lloyd's Arbitration Scheme for Members and Underwriting Agents may be obtained from Nick Demery in Legal and Compliance via the members' complaints homepage.
4.3 You should discuss your response with your manager.
5. Record keeping
5.1 You should create a file on the member's complaint which should contain copies of all correspondence and relevant notes of discussions relating to your investigation of the complaint. Arrangements should be made for this file to be retained for a period of three years from the date of the last item of correspondence on it. So far as possible complaints files should be stored in digital form to save storage costs and for ease of retrieval.
1. See DISP 1.11.13 "Complaints from members"
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2. Where financial redress is considered appropriate by an underwriting agent, the aim should be to restore the member to the position he or she would have been in if the acts or omissions giving rise to the complaint had not occurred. The redress should therefore include an appropriate amount of interest in addition to the principal sum.