Complaints

What is a Complaint?

Customers may get in touch with Invest & Fund for any number of reasons. Most are likely to be simple questions that arise as part of the day to day operation of their account with Invest & Fund or about our platform and marketplaces, which do not constitute a complaint. Or, it may be that a customer simply wants an acknowledgement of an issue and an apology. Invest & Fund seeks to deal with this type of issue immediately, and as such these need not be processed through the formal complaints process.

However, if a customer, or someone on behalf of a customer, is unhappy with the outcome, or wishes to escalate an issue then any expression of dissatisfaction should be treated as a complaint and dealt with according to the standard process.


Who can make a Complaint to Invest & Fund

Anyone who uses Invest & Fund’s services is entitled to make a complaint, or anyone on behalf of that customer.


What type of Complaints Procedure Does Invest & Fund operate?

Invest & Fund operates a one stage complaints procedure, as defined by the Financial Conduct Authority. This means that once a final response letter has been sent to the complainant, should they remain dissatisfied, they would need to refer their complaint to Financial Ombudsman Service within six months of the final response.

Invest & Fund will review and investigate the complaint further if new information comes to light, following the issuing of the final response letter. A complaint cannot be re-opened once a final response has been issued so this would be treated as a new complaint.

Some complaints may be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service see the section below entitled ‘If I am still unhappy can I refer my Complaint to the Ombudsman?’


How do I make a Complaint?

Complaints may be made to Invest & Fund either verbally or in writing (by email or by letter).

Our contact details are:

  • - Invest & Fund, Chichester Road, Ponswood, St Leonards-on-Sea, East Sussex TN38 9BG
  • - Email: enquiries@investandfund.com
  • - Telephone: 01424 717564

What will the Complaint Investigation involve?

Upon receipt of a complaint, Invest & Fund will undertake an investigation of that complaint. If the complaint is about a named member of staff then the investigation will be handled by someone else. The investigation is undertaken diligently and impartially in accordance with Financial Conduct Authority rules and guidance, together with consideration of regular updates provided by Financial Ombudsman Service.

The investigation will include a review of:

  • - The customer details/information in relation to the complaint issues;
  • - Any relevant reports received from staff members;
  • - Any documentation or literature issued;
  • - Any additional correspondence provided to or by the customer;
  • - Any other relevant information.

When should I expect to hear from you on the progress of my Complaint?

Unless the issue is resolved immediately then Invest & Fund must keep you informed of progress throughout the complaints process on a regular basis.

The following timeframes apply;

  • - If the complaint is not resolved within 4 weeks following receipt, an update letter will be sent to you updating you of the current position.
  • - If the complaint is not resolved within 8 weeks following receipt, a further update letter will be issued to you. This letter will provide an explanation for the delay and an indication of when we expect to be able to conclude the investigation. We will notify you if you are eligible to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service at this stage if you are dissatisfied with the delay, and how to go about this.

What happens after the Investigation Stage has been completed?

At this point Invest & Fund needs to decide to either “uphold” or “reject” the complaint. This decision must be a considered and informed decision, and consistent with all the facts at our disposal. Invest & Fund aims to provide a high quality response which provides a fair outcome for our customer and this communication is called the Final Response Letter.

As Invest & Fund operates a single stage complaints process once a Final Response Letter has been issue then Invest & Fund will close its file. The letter will state if the complaint is eligible to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service and details of how to go about this will be provided.

Invest & Fund will provide prompt and full redress if it is at fault. In determining whether any redress is due to a customer, consideration should be given to the extent of any omissions for which Invest & Fund is responsible.


If I am still unhappy can I refer my Complaint to the Ombudsman?

Our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) defines those people who are eligible to refer their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service as the following;

  • - A consumer;
  • - A micro-enterprise (i.e. an enterprise which employs fewer than 10 people AND has a turnover or annual balance sheet that does not exceed 2 million Euros;
  • - A charity which has annual income of less than £1 million at the time of the complaint; and
  • - A trustee of a trust which has a net asset value of less than £1 million at the time of the complaint.

Eligible complaints can be from an existing customer, a potential customer or a guarantor.

Complaints from non-eligible complainants will be treated the same way in terms of the Invest & Fund complaints process, investigation and timescales, but they do not have the right to refer their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.


When could I refer my Complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman?

This would normally happen after Invest & Fund had issued its final response letter and you were unhappy with the final decision. However, referral to the Financial Ombudsman Service may also be made if Invest & Fund has not concluded its investigation within an eight-week period.


What if I decide to refer my Complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service?

In cases that are eligible to be referred to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), Invest & Fund will follow the FOS guidelines and if applicable will follow its ruling on providing redress and compensation.

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Invest & Fund will cooperate fully with FOS in the handling of complaints against us, and promptly action any directions given to us by the FOS.

Once investigated, the FOS will advise on the outcome of the complaint in writing to Invest & Fund.

Details on eligibility (see section above ‘If I am still unhappy can I refer my Complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman?’ for more information) and how to make a complaint to the FOS are provided in our 8-week update letter and our Final Response Letter.