What happens when a consumer makes a complaint?

When CIO receives a complaint, the first step is to ensure the consumer has approached the Member to try and resolve it through the Member’s Internal Dispute Resolution process.

CIO’s Rules state that every Member must have a Complaints Contact Person and an Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) Procedure in place.
The IDR Procedures require you to give a substantive response to a complaint as soon as possible but generally within 45 days (except for certain types of complaints, where a shorter timeframe applies). A substantive response includes:
  • Accepting the consumer’s complaint and where appropriate offering redress
  • Offering redress without accepting the complaint
  • Rejecting the complaint
  • If you are unable to give a substantive response within 45 days, you must give the consumer reasons for your delay.

If the consumer has been through your IDR Procedure and is not satisfied with the outcome, they are entitled to make a formal complaint to the Credit Ombudsman Service (CIO).

At this stage, CIO will send details of the complaint and any accompanying documents to you. You must then give a response to CIO as soon as possible and within the time CIO specifies.