Information for small business customers who have a complaint about a bank, insurer or other financial business that has been caused or affected by Covid-19 (coronavirus).
We’re monitoring official advice
As well as the serious impact on health, the spread of Covid-19 is also affecting the economy, businesses and consumers. We’re monitoring the enquiries and complaints we’re receiving, and keeping in touch with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) – the industry regulator – and our stakeholders, and monitoring official advice.
How to complain to a financial business
If you’re concerned that Covid-19 will have an impact on your finances, speak to your insurer, bank or financial service provider first. If however you’re unhappy with what they say to you, you might be able to complain and, ultimately, we might be able to help. When you contact a financial business to complain, the business needs to give you their final response within eight weeks at the most, depending on what you’re complaining about.
The impact of Covid-19 on complaint handling
The impact of Covid-19, and the associated public health measures, mean that financial businesses are having to work differently. The industry regulator, the FCA, has set out its expectations for financial businesses’ complaint handling at this time, including what they should do in relation to handling and prioritising complaints. You can find the full detail of its statement on its website.
We, too, are having to work differently. Although our phone lines are open and we are continuing to resolve complaints that have been referred to us, we expect that there will be an inevitable impact on how long things take. We continue to engage with financial businesses and are seeking progress cases referred to us in a timely and efficient way. You can find out more about timescales for specific complaint types in the complaints we can help with section.
How to contact us
Our phone lines are open between 9.00am and 5.00pm, but to help us keep our phones open for customers who have urgent queries, please contact us online instead, if you can.
- To submit a new complaint use our online form.
- If you’d like an update on an existing case, please send us an email, quoting your case reference number. Or send us a direct message on our social media channels.
- If you’re looking for an update on a complaint you’ve recently submitted, there’s more about our timescales on our contact us page.
Find more information about all of the ways to get in touch on our contact us page.
Guidance on specific types of complaint
These are some of the issues affecting small businesses, and how we may be able to help. We have more information about how Covid-19 is affecting individual consumers, and our approach, on our main website.
- Watch out for scams related to Covid-19. These may take many forms, but fraudsters are targeting small businesses by pretending to be from local councils, government bodies or their banks. These scams are often sophisticated and some are using information about the Covid-19 financial support available to small businesses to make it look like they are genuine.
- Some companies are charging upfront fees to help small businesses apply for loans and government grants when this isn’t necessary.
- You can read more about how to avoid fraud and scams, and protect your personal information, on our main site.
- If you think you have become a victim of a scam, the first thing you should do is contact your bank or finance provider and explain what’s happened. If you’re not happy with what they say, then you can make a complaint. If you’re not sure how to do this, contact us and we can help. The financial business should look into things and reply within 15 days. If you’re not happy with their response, or if it doesn’t reply in time, you can bring your complaint to us. We’ll check it’s something we can deal with, and if it is, we’ll investigate and let you and the financial business know what we think.