Fundamentals of Complaint Handling and DISP

Adam Samuel

Fundamentals of Complaint Handling and DISP

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Upskill your organisation with this is on-demand live online course.  Please contact us at for a quotation and to book date and time.

For major institutions, handling complaints annually pay millions of pounds in compensation. For smaller firms, a string of cases can destroy a business. Hundreds of companies daily try to show their best side to unhappy customers, the Ombudsman and their regulator. The dispute resolution (DISP) complaint rules are complex and this course teaches you how to use and comply with the rules while showing your best side to all the relevant stakeholders. The course leader, Adam Samuel, wrote the only book on the subject; now in its second edition, it explains how to handle complaints for and against firms.

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Course Syllabus

  • Finding the complaint rules – MiFID and non-MiFID cases

  • Building the complaints procedure

  • Any relevant limits to coverage of the procedure

  •  Point of sale and website disclosure of how to complain

  • Identification of complaints and recording them 

  •  Next 3 business days requirements for summary disposal

  • Acknowledgement of complaints

  • Investigation – by whom, of what and how

  • How to compose an 8 week letter

  • Assessment – rules to be applied, likely reasons to uphold complaints, basic compensation approaches

  • Final response – rulebook requirements, how to draft a response including a practical demonstration

  • Financial Ombudsman Service – its legal basis, jurisdiction and summary dismissal filter, investigation and awards

  • Reporting complaint numbers & keeping records

  • Learning from mistakes – root cause analysis, regulatory requirements, practical techniques, limitations

Learning objectives

  • Understand the key elements of the complaints procedure

  • Gain familiarity with DISP

  • Gain the ability write the important complaint letters in an appropriate style and tone and in a clear and structure manner

  • Appreciate the issues around identifying complaints

  • Understand how to carry out the stages of complaint handling

  • Gain a grasp of the rules concerning and limitations of root cause analysis

  • Know what the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is looking for in complaint investigations and responses

  • Learn the law and rules surrounding Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) 

Who is the course suitable for?

Complaint handlers, compliance, senior managers responsible for complaint handling

Who is Adam Samuel?

Adam Samuel is a compliance consultant who has been trying to resolve the financial services industry’s problems through a combination of training, advising, writing and general persuasion since 1996.

The author of the only book on complaints in the UK (now in a second edition), Adam has worked for regulators and public bodies in five countries and three continents and delivered financial services compliance training in three European countries and Hong Kong. He is a lawyer by training but insists on being qualified as a financial and mortgage adviser as well as a compliance and financial crime specialist. Adam’s specialty is loud, highly interactive sessions (on complaints handling, financial promotions, digital financial promotions, product governance, financial crime and suitability) using as many practical examples as he and the participants can find.


A graduate of both Oxford university and Boston University (masters in banking law), he is a member of the English and New York bars and is a holder of qualifications from CAMS, the CISI, CII on financial crime, compliance and mortgage advice.


  • Complaint handling and other dispute resolution

  • Financial promotions and digital media issues generally

  • Product governance

  • Advice and suitability standards and requirements for non-advised transactions

  • Financial crime including AML

Additional Details


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Live Online (Zoom)

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