Smith & Williamson always aims to provide the highest standards of service, but occasionally we fall short of this goal and a client may express dissatisfaction. Our aim is to treat all complaints fairly, promptly and objectively.
Complaints in connection with our Tax and Business Services
If you have any concerns in connection with our tax, accountancy, audit, forensic or restructuring and recovery services, and you do not wish to discuss these with the person directly responsible for providing the service to you, please contact our Head of Legal, by writing to 25 Moorgate, London EC2R 6AY or by telephone on 020 7131 4000. We undertake to look into any complaint carefully and promptly. If we do not answer your complaint to your satisfaction, you may refer your complaint to the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales at:
The Professional Conduct Department
The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales
Metropolitan House, 321 Avebury Boulevard
Milton Keynes MK9 2FZ
Details of the ICAEW complaints procedure are available at www.icaew.com/complaints.
Complaints against our Financial Services, Investment Management and services businesses
How can I make a Complaint?
You can complain in person to your usual S&W contact, or by telephone, email or letter. If you prefer, you can complain directly to the Compliance Department at Smith & Williamson, 25 Moorgate, London EC2R 6AY.
Can someone complain on my behalf?
Yes, anyone can complain on your behalf, but we will need your written permission to allow us to deal with them.
How will my complaint be handled?
We aim to resolve your concerns as quickly as possible. If your expression of dissatisfaction involves allegations of financial loss or material inconvenience or distress, it will be treated as a formal complaint and investigated by the Compliance Department in order to ensure that the investigation is objective.
Some complaints can be handled relatively informally if they can be resolved within three business days of receipt. When a complaint is handled informally and resolved within three business days, we will send you a “summary resolution communication”. This will confirm our understanding of the complaint and state we consider the complaint to have been resolved, but will offer you an opportunity to contact us again if you wish the complaint to be investigated further and inform you of your right to refer the complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if you subsequently decide you are dissatisfied with our resolution.
In all other cases, we will formally acknowledge receipt of your complaint within five business days, giving you the name of the person dealing with your complaint, setting out our understanding of your complaint, and enclosing a copy of these procedures. We will then keep you informed of our progress in resolving your complaint, and will provide our final response within a maximum of eight weeks for most complaints or within 15 business days for complaints relating to the provision of payment services (or 35 business days in exceptional circumstances) of receiving it. This response will explain the results of our investigation and whether we agree or disagree with your complaint. It will set out whether we will offer you any compensation and if so, on what basis. If we have not been able to complete our investigation within the eight weeks, we will explain why and indicate when you can expect our full response. We will also explain your right to refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service if we have not completed our investigation or if you are not satisfied with our response, and we will provide their contact details.
What happens if I am still not satisfied?
If we have not sent you our final response within eight weeks of receiving your complaint, or if we have sent you our final response but you remain dissatisfied, you may refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, free of charge, provided that you are an “Eligible Complainant”. You are an eligible complainant if you are:
- A natural person acting outside the scope of your trade, business or profession;
- A micro-enterprise or small business;
- A charity with annual income of less than £6.5m at the time of the complaint;
- A trustee of a trust with net asset value of less than £5m at the time of the complaint.
If you are an Eligible Complainant, you must refer your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service within six months of receiving our final response. If you do not refer your complaint in time, the Financial Ombudsman Service will not usually have our permission to consider your complaint, unless exceptional circumstances apply.
Further information about the Financial Ombudsman Service can be obtained from:
The Financial Ombudsman Service
London E14 9SR
Tel: 020 7964 1000