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At a glance: You have a right to complain to your lender if you are not happy with their service.
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This summary is not relevant in England and Wales
For a version of this summary that covers England and Wales, please click here.

Consumer credit companies

This information is about complaining to lenders. This includes banks, hire purchase companies and payday lenders. Companies can only lend if they are authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). They must have a complaints procedure. If they do not, they might lose their authorisation.

How to complain

Ask your lender for a copy of their complaints procedure. This will tell you how they should deal with your complaint, and in what timescale. 

When you make your complaint say what you are not happy with, and what you want them to do. Include any evidence that supports your complaint. 

By law, your lender must respond within eight weeks. 

If you are unhappy with the response, you may be able to take your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). 

Financial Ombudsman Service

You have six months from the date of your lender’s final response to complain to the FOS. To do this you need to fill out their complaints form or call the FOS.  

The FOS will investigate your complaint and tell you the outcome. If your complaint is upheld, the FOS will say what the lender should do to put things right. If you accept the decision, the lender must do what the FOS says.  

If you do not accept the FOS’s decision, the lender does not have to do what the FOS says.  

You cannot appeal if you do not agree with the FOS’s final decision, but you can still take your lender to court.  

Going to court

There are rules about ‘unfair relationships’ between borrowers and lenders. You may be able to take court action if you think that you have an unfair relationship with your lender. This might be because of the terms of the agreement or the lender’s behaviour. 

There is a fee to take court action, but you may be able to get help with this.  

Making a claim that a relationship is unfair is complicated. You could be asked to pay extra costs if your claim is not successful. You may need to pay for the help of a solicitor. 

Learn more about this topic

If you want to learn more about this topic, you can read our in-depth guide.

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