Investigation of a complaint about the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC)

About the complaints process

We have arrangements in place for the investigation of complaints made against us. This is part of the system of checks and balances on the way we use our powers.

Handling of a complaint

We will investigate complaints and take whatever action to resolve the matter we think appropriate.

What complaints can the complaints process deal with?

The complaints scheme covers any expression of dissatisfaction about the way we have carried out or failed to carry out our role. This includes complaints about mistakes or lack of care, unreasonable delay, unprofessional behaviour, bias and lack of integrity by our staff in their day to day work. There are some complaints that we will not consider under the complaints process. Those are listed below.

If you are seeking to make a complaint about a firm, please click here to view the process for this.

Who can complain?

Anyone who is directly affected by the way we have carried out our functions. This includes private individuals, regulated firms, employees of regulated firms, listed companies and those authorised to deal with a complaint for someone, such as lawyers or personal representatives.

Who do I complain to?

You should raise your complaint with your regular contact within the GFSC. If you feel that is not appropriate, or you have no such point of contact, you should complain to the Chief Executive Officer. Contact details are given on our website.

How do I complain?

If you wish to make a complaint about us, please write to us or email us. We cannot investigate complaints that are not made in writing, so please do ensure that you write to us and provide as much detail as possible to carry out a full investigation.

How will my complaint be dealt with?

Once we have received a complaint from you, we will decide whether it is a complaint that can be investigated under the complaints process. If we consider that it can, it will be entered on the central Complaints Register. You will receive an acknowledgement within five working days of receipt of the complaint. If we decide not to investigate the complaint, we will write to you within ten working days of receiving it to tell you about the decision and give you reasons for it.

If we decide to investigate a complaint, the investigation will be carried out by a senior member of staff who has not been involved in the matter you have complained about. The complaint will be investigated as quickly as possible. If the investigation is not completed within four weeks, you will be contacted and given a likely completion date. We will aim to ensure that we complete the investigation of a complaint within eight weeks.

What happens if my complaint is upheld?

We will write to you to tell you what steps are to be taken to remedy the matters you have complained about. This may include, for example, a suitable apology or a decision to change the way we work.

What happens if my complaint is rejected?

We will write to you to give you our reasons for rejecting your complaint.

What if I am unhappy with the outcome, or if I am not satisfied with the progress of the investigation of the complaint?

You may refer the complaint to the Minister for Financial Services. Under the Financial Services Commission Act 2007, if at any time it appears to the Minister that the GFSC has failed to comply with any of the provisions of the Acts under which it has a duty, the Minister may require the GFSC to make good the default within a specified time.

Is there a time limit on making a complaint?

Yes. You should complain within 12 months of the date on which you first became aware of the circumstances of the complaint. If made later than this, your complaint will only be investigated if you can show a good reason for the delay.

Does it cost anything?

No. There is no charge for the investigation of a complaint.

Exclusions

The following complaints are excluded from the complaints scheme:

  • A complaint by you as a customer of a regulated firm. These complaints should be directed to the firm itself;
  • A complaint about the Investors Compensation Scheme (www.gics.gi) or Deposit Guarantee Scheme (www.gdgb.gi). These complaints should be directed to the secretary of the scheme concerned. The contact details are available on the relevant website;
  • A complaint about our rule-making, issuing of statements of principle and codes of practice and issuing of general guidance. These matters are usually the subject of comprehensive consultation prior to implementation;
  • A complaint about our relationship with our employees;
  • A complaint connected with a contractual or commercial dispute involving us;
  • Dissatisfaction with our regulatory policy and judgement; with an issue of legal interpretation, or with the use of a discretion conferred on us where no unreasonable, unprofessional or other misconduct is alleged. If a firm or individual wishes to query or challenge something we are asking it to do, the firm or individual concerned should contact the staff member responsible. If necessary, the complaint may be raised with more senior staff responsible for the area concerned, including, where appropriate, to the Head of the relevant team, who will deal with the issues personally. There are also legal rights to make representations to us about a range of regulatory decisions prior to their taking effect. There are also rights of appeal to the Supreme Court against such decisions taken by us;
  • There will also be occasions when there is a complaint about one of our ongoing regulatory actions. Unless there is some good reason, we will not investigate such complaints until the regulatory action has been completed.

If you are in any doubt about how you should complain, please contact the Chief Executive Officer, whose details are contained on our website.