Entire Section

  • GEN 9 GEN 9 Complaints Handling and Dispute Resolution

    • GEN 9.1 GEN 9.1 Application

      • GEN 9.1.1

        This chapter applies to every Authorised Firm, other than a Representative Office and a Credit Rating Agency, carrying on a Financial Service in or from the DIFC as follows:

        (a) GEN Section 9.2 applies to an Authorised Firm carrying on a Financial Service with or for a Retail Client;
        (b) GEN Section 9.3 applies to an Authorised Firm carrying on a Financial Service with or for a Professional Client; and
        (c) GEN Section 9.4 sets out additional requirements that apply to an Authorised Firm carrying on the Financial Service of Providing Money Services or Arranging or Advising on Money Services.
        [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]
        [Amended] DFSA RM68/2009 (Made 3rd January 2010). [VER24/01-10]
        [Amended] DFSA RM96/2012 (Made 24th July 2012) [VER30/07-12]
        [Amended] DFSA RMI266/2020 (Made 26th February 2020). [VER48/04-2020]

    • GEN 9.2 GEN 9.2 Complaints handling procedures for Retail Clients

      • Written Complaints handling procedures

        • GEN 9.2.1

          An Authorised Firm must have adequate policies and procedures in place for the investigation and resolution of Complaints made against it by Retail Clients, and the manner of redress (including compensation for acts or omissions of the Authorised Firm).

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

        • GEN 9.2.2 GEN 9.2.2

          The policies and procedures for handling Complaints must be in writing and provide that Complaints are handled fairly, consistently and promptly.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

          • GEN 9.2.2 Guidance

            1.  In establishing adequate Complaints handling policies and procedures, an Authorised Firm should have regard to:
            a.  the nature, scale and complexity of its business; and
            b.  its size and organisational structure.
            2.  In handling Complaints, an Authorised Firm should consider its obligations under the Data Protection Law 2007.
            3.  An Authorised Firm should consider its obligations under GEN Rule 5.3.19 and accompanying guidance.
            4.  The DFSA considers 60 days from the receipt of a Complaint to be an appropriate period in which an Authorised Firm should be able to resolve most Complaints. However, Complaints related to the Provision of Money Services or Arranging or Advising on Money Services should generally be resolved within 15 business days – see GEN Rule 9.4.3.
            5.  In accordance with COB Rule 2.1.2(5), a Member, Beneficiary or Participating Employer of an Employee Money Purchase Scheme is treated as a Retail Client of an Operator or Administrator of the Scheme. Therefore, the complaints handling procedures in this chapter relating to Retail Clients will apply to those persons.
            [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]
            [Added] DFSA RMI260/2019 (Made 18th December 2019). [VER47/01-20]
            [Added] DFSA RMI266/2020 (Made 26th February 2020). [VER48/04-20]

        • GEN 9.2.3

          On receipt of a Complaint, an Authorised Firm must:

          (a) acknowledge the Complaint promptly in writing;
          (b) provide the complainant with:
          (i) the contact details of any individual responsible for handling the Complaint;
          (ii) key particulars of the Authorised Firm's Complaints handling procedures; and
          (iii) a statement that a copy of the procedures is available free of charge upon request in accordance with GEN Rule 9.2.11; and
          (c) consider the subject matter of the Complaint.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

        • GEN 9.2.4 GEN 9.2.4

          Where appropriate, an Authorised Firm must update the complainant on the progress of the handling of the Complaint.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

          • GEN 9.2.4 Guidance

            1.  The DFSA considers 7 days to be an adequate period in which an Authorised Firm should be able to acknowledge most Complaints.
            2.  The DFSA expects an update to be provided to the complainant in circumstances where the resolution of the Complaint is taking longer than 30 days.

            [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

      • Resolution of Complaints

        • GEN 9.2.5

          Upon conclusion of an investigation of a Complaint, an Authorised Firm must promptly:

          (a) advise the complainant in writing of the resolution of the Complaint;
          (b) provide the complainant with clear terms of redress, if applicable; and
          (c) comply with the terms of redress if accepted by the complainant.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

        • GEN 9.2.6 GEN 9.2.6

          If the complainant is not satisfied with the terms of redress offered by the Authorised Firm, the Authorised Firm must inform the complainant of other avenues, if any, for resolution of the Complaint and provide him with the appropriate contact details upon request.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

          • GEN 9.2.6 Guidance

            Other avenues for resolution of a Complaint may include an external dispute resolution scheme, arbitration or the DIFC Court. Under GEN Rule 9.4.4 an Authorised Firm Providing Money Services or Arranging or Advising on Money Services is required to ensure that Clients have access to an independent complaints handling service.

            [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]
            [Added] DFSA RMI266/2020 (Made 26th February 2020). [VER48/04-20]

      • Employees handling Complaints

        • GEN 9.2.7

          Where appropriate, taking into account the nature, scale and complexity of an Authorised Firm's business, an Authorised Firm must ensure that any individual handling the Complaint is not or was not involved in the conduct of the Financial Service about which the Complaint has been made, and is able to handle the Complaint in a fair and impartial manner.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

        • GEN 9.2.8

          An Authorised Firm must ensure that any individual responsible for handling the Complaint has sufficient authority to resolve the Complaint or has access to individuals with the necessary authority.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

      • Complaints involving other Authorised Firms or Regulated Financial Institutions

        • GEN 9.2.9

          If an Authorised Firm considers that another Authorised Firm or a Regulated Financial Institution is entirely or partly responsible for the subject matter of a Complaint, it may refer the Complaint, or the relevant part of it, to the other Authorised Firm or Regulated Financial Institution in accordance with Rule 9.2.10.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

        • GEN 9.2.10 GEN 9.2.10

          To refer a Complaint, an Authorised Firm must:

          (a) inform the complainant promptly and in writing that it would like to refer the Complaint, either entirely or in part, to another Authorised Firm or Regulated Financial Institution, and obtain the written consent of the complainant to do so;
          (b) if the complainant consents to the referral of the Complaint, refer the Complaint to the other Authorised Firm or Regulated Financial Institution promptly and in writing;
          (c) inform the complainant promptly and in writing that the Complaint has been referred and include adequate contact details of any individual at the other Authorised Firm or Regulated Financial Institution responsible for handling the Complaint; and
          (d) continue to deal with any part of the Complaint not referred to the other Authorised Firm or Regulated Financial Institution, in accordance with this chapter.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

          • GEN 9.2.10 Guidance

            The referral of a Complaint may involve the transfer of Personal Data, as defined under the Data Protection Law 2007, DIFC Law No 1 of 2007. In this respect, an Authorised Firm should consider its obligations under the Data Protection Law 2007.

            [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

      • Retail Client awareness

        • GEN 9.2.11

          An Authorised Firm must ensure that a copy of its Complaints handling procedures is available free of charge to any Retail Client upon request.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

      • Retention of records

        • GEN 9.2.12

          An Authorised Firm must maintain a record of all Complaints made against it for a minimum period of six years from the date of receipt of a Complaint.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

        • GEN 9.2.13

          This record must contain the name of the complainant, the substance of the Complaint, a record of the Authorised Firm's response, and any other relevant correspondence or records, and the action taken by the Authorised Firm to resolve each Complaint.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

      • Systems and controls

        • GEN 9.2.14 GEN 9.2.14

          In accordance with GEN Rules 5.3.4 and 5.3.5, an Authorised Firm must put in place adequate systems and controls in order for it to identify and remedy any recurring or systemic problems identified from Complaints.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

      • Outsourcing

        • Guidance

          An Authorised Firm may outsource the administration of its Complaints handling procedures in accordance with GEN Rule 5.3.21.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

    • GEN 9.3 GEN 9.3 Complaints recording procedures for Professional Clients

      • GEN 9.3.1

        An Authorised Firm must have adequate policies and procedures in place for the recording of Complaints made against it by Professional Clients.

        [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

      • GEN 9.3.2 GEN 9.3.2

        An Authorised Firm must maintain a record of any Complaint made against it for a minimum period of six years from the date of receipt of the Complaint.

        [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

        • GEN 9.3.2 Guidance

          Depending on the nature, scale and complexity of its business, it may be appropriate for an Authorised Firm to have in place a suitable Complaints handling procedure for Professional Clients in order to ensure that such Complaints are properly handled and remedial action is taken promptly. Such Complaints handling procedures would be expected to include provisions about the independence of staff investigating the Complaint and bringing the matter to the attention of senior management.

          [Added] DFSA RM56/2008 (Made 1st July 2008). [VER19/07-08]

    • GEN 9.4 GEN 9.4 Additional requirements for complaints related to Money Services

      • GEN 9.4.1

        This section applies to a complaint made by a Client against an Authorised Firm relating to the Financial Service of:

        (a) Providing Money Services; or
        (b) Arranging or Advising on Money Services.
        Derived from RMI266/2020 (Made 26th February 2020). [VER48/04-20]

      • GEN 9.4.2

        A requirement in this section does not apply in relation to a Market Counterparty, if the Market Counterparty has given prior notice in writing to the Authorised Firm that it has elected to waive the requirement.

        Derived from RMI266/2020 (Made 26th February 2020). [VER48/04-20]

      • Complaints to be resolved within 15 business days

        • GEN 9.4.3

          (1) An Authorised Firm must, except as provided in (2), advise the complainant in writing of the resolution of the Complaint and, if applicable, provide the complainant with clear terms of redress no later than 15 business days after the day on which it received the Complaint.
          (2) If the Authorised Firm cannot comply with (1) for reasons beyond its control, it must send a holding reply, clearly indicating the reasons for the delay and specifying the deadline by which the complainant will receive a full reply.
          (3) When the Authorised Firm advises the complainant of the outcome of a Complaint, it must inform the Client in writing:
          (a) that the Client may refer the matter to the independent complaints handling service referred to in GEN Rule 9.4.4 if the Client is not satisfied with the outcome;
          (b) details of the independent complaints handling scheme and how the Client may access the service; and
          (c) that the firm will pay the costs of the application fee to the scheme in the circumstances specified in GEN Rule 9.4.4 (c).
          Derived from RMI266/2020 (Made 26th February 2020). [VER48/04-20]

      • Independent complaints handling service

        • GEN 9.4.4 GEN 9.4.4

          An Authorised Firm must:
          (a) ensure that Clients have access to an independent complaints handling service that can determine Complaints where a Client is not satisfied with the outcome of the firm’s resolution of a Complaint;
          (b) ensure that the service referred to in (a) is easily accessible to its Clients; and
          (c) bear the cost of any application fee payable for the use of the service referred to in (a), unless the Complaint is found to be unsuccessful, in which case the firm may recover the cost of that fee from the Client.
          Derived from RMI266/2020 (Made 26th February 2020). [VER48/04-20]

          • GEN 9.4.4 Guidance

            An independent complaints handling service referred to in GEN Rule 9.4.4 may be a small claims tribunal provided that the tribunal has jurisdiction to hear and determine disputes of the nature covered under this section i.e. relating to money services.

            Derived from RMI266/2020 (Made 26th February 2020). [VER48/04-20]