More about the process

FDRS provides a three-level complaint process, which aims to resolve disputes efficiently and thoroughly. 

1. Before you complain to the Scheme Member, call us first at 0508 337 337 so that we can take basic details and provide guidance to help you make your complaint.

  • We will case manage your issue from your initial enquiry until resolution either through your provider or through the FDRS dispute process.

  • We will check that the financial service provider is a Scheme Member of FDRS at the time of the event.

  • We can talk to you about your issue, take basic details and guide you on how to make a formal complaint to your Scheme Member. We have access to translators in many languages.

  • We can direct you to an appropriate support agency, for example the Citizens Advice Bureau or Community Law Centre if you wouold like help to make a complaint to your financial service provider.

  • Your financial service provider must be given the opportunity to consider your complaint before FDRS can consider it within its formal dispute resolution process.

  • If you cannot access your provider call us back. If we cannot access them we may escalate the complaint immedaitely to our disputes process.

2. Make a complaint to the financial service provider

  • Complaints can only be made about financial service providers that are members of FDRS. A full list of Scheme Members can be found here.

  • The Scheme Member must be given the opportunity to consider the complaint before FDRS can get involved with its formal dispute resolution process. 

  • When making a complaint try to be clear about what the problem is and what you want to  happen to resolve the issue.

  • If you can, keep a record of what happens; who you spoke to and what was said. Keep copies of any related letters or emails you send and receive.

  • If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint enquiry or you have not reached a resolution with the Scheme Member within two months, the dispute is in deadlock. Deadlock is a term used in the complaint process that means either:

    • a consumer has come to the end of the financial service provider's complaint process and their complaint has not been resolved, or

    • it has been more than three months since the consumer first contacted the financial service provider and the consumer does not have a resolution they are happy with.

  • You can ask for a deadlock letter from Scheme Member if one isn’t provided. When the dispute has reached deadlock, FDRS can help.

3. Make a complaint to FDRS

  • Call us at 0508 337 337 and we can take matters up from there with you and the Scheme Member.

  • A complaint can be made online to FDRS, or the complaint forms can be downloaded and mailed or faxed to FDRS. FDRS can also help you to write your complaint over the phone.

Refer to the What's covered page to see what types of disputes are covered by FDRS.

Once the FDRS formal dispute resolution process begins: 

  • Our facilitators liaise with the consumer and the Scheme Member to try to resolve the dispute. FDRS considers the actions and responses of all of the parties to date.

  • The facilitator exchanges the information that has been provided by all parties to ensure everyone is fully informed about the dispute (natural justice).

  • FDRS may initiate formal mediation, where discussions are held between all parties managed by a FDRS mediators. This is usually done via telephone, although face-to-face meetings and video conferencing can also be used.

  • If a dispute cannot be resolved by the parties, a FDRS adjudicator will issue a final decision "on the papers" with a recommended resolution.

  • The consumer has the right to accept or not accept the final decision. If the decision is accepted by the complainant the directions in the decision become legally binding on the Scheme Member, who must carry out all of the actions in the final decision.     

  • If the consumer does not accept the decision the dispute is closed. The consumer can still take the dispute to the Courts or Disputes Tribunal.

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FDRS can only award up to $200,000 in compensation. A complaint involving more than $200,000 can be taken to FDRS however the maximum compensation available will be limited to $200,000.

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