Treating Customers Fairly and Handling Complaints in Investment and Banking Services

Treating Customers Fairly and Handling Complaints in Investment and Banking Services

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Course Overview

Much of the focus of MiFID 2, the Insurance Distribution Directive and other modern regulation is on the fair treatment of customers. The handling of complaints marks out financial institutions as being concerned about their customers and keen to improve their own standards generally. MiFID 2 was the first general EU financial services directive to take the subject seriously and lay down, through its MiFID Org Regulations, some Europe-wide complaint rules. Now, the ESMA/EBA guidelines apply to complaint handling well beyond banking and the EIOPA guidelines deal with insurance cases.

This course benefits from being delivered by the only author of major works on complaint handling who has written and lectured extensively on Treating Customers Fairly, and who has worked on all the different sides of the complaint handling process: bringing, responding to and investigating neutrally complaints.


  • 2-days course

  • 3-hours per day

  • FEES: Request a quote

Training Objectives

By the end of the programme, participants should be able to:

  • Apply treating customers fairly notions to their business

  • Apply the MiFID Org Regulation provisions to complaints

  • Build and implement the basics of a complaints procedure and policy

  • Understand the complaints process from advance disclosure of the process to the closure of the case

  • Appreciate some of the root cause analysis techniques and their weaknesses

  • Reach fair results in relation to their products and services and complaints about them

  • Deal with a case at the Financial Ombudsman


Training Outline


  • Treating customers fairly (MiFID) 

  • Elements of a complaints process or procedure

  • Key EU legal provisions on treating customers fairly and complaint handling

Tasks covered by a complaints procedure

  • Building the procedure and drafting the policy

  • Advance disclosure of how to complain and the Ombudsman

  • Identification and recording of complaints

  • Acknowledgement

  • Investigation – who, what, how and the relationship to employment discipline

  • Assessment – standards to be applied

  • Drafting the final response

  • Managing threats of litigation


Applying treating customers fairly generally and to the merits of complaints

  • Core requirements of treating customers fairly

  • Grounds for uphold complaints – customer reasonable expectations, product or service of a reasonable standard

  • New areas for treating customers fairly

  • Compensation

  • Interest


Root cause analysis

  • Rules

  • Identifying recurring and systemic problems

  • Root cause analysis techniques

  • Deciding what to do about a recurring or systemic problem


The Ombudsman

  • Eligible complainants

  • Time-limits

  • Initial or jurisdiction filter

  • Ombudsman procedure

  • Powers of the Ombudsman, recommendations and rejected decisions


Training Style

This programme consists of an interactive presentation of the relevant rules and good practice with questions and comments to and from the participants, interrupted by a large number of practical examples, including the drafting of relevant documents including where time permits final responses.


CPD Recognition

This programme may be approved for up to 5 CPD units in Financial Regulation. Eligibility criteria and CPD Units are verified directly by your association, regulator or other bodies which you hold membership.


Who Should Attend? The programme is ideal for:

  • Complaint handlers

  • Compliance Officers and staff

  • Customer relations and customer service staff

  • Lawyers

  • Risk managers

Who is Adam Samuel

Adam Samuel is a lawyer qualified in the UK and the USA. Since 1996, Adam has run his own training and consulting business, helping out regulators in three continents on customer-facing issues. He has the qualifications required of financial, mortgage and equity release advisers and the UK CISI compliance diploma.

Adam wrote the only book on consumer financial services complaint handling in the UK and a guide to the SFC Code for Intermediaries in Hong Kong. The Gibraltar Supreme Court followed his expert evidence in van Geens v. Jyske Bank on product risk, compliance and advice standards around the world. Adam has broadcast on a number of BBC domestic and World Service programmes, including the national news, on financial services compliance and banking issues.

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