The complaints process was opened to UK customers in November 2016 alongside the Automatic Refund of Complex Fees. The Automatic Refund process was completed in July 2017, with offers worth £115m made to 3,500 customers.
To date, the bank has received 1,230 complaints from the 16,000 customers eligible to use the scheme, and a further 165 complaints from those outside its scope. The bank has issued a conclusion in 803 cases, upholding 370 in full or part and making offers of £10,033,437 for direct losses. The bank is currently receiving about 6 complaints a week, a number that has been in decline since its peak of 35 a week in December 2016.
The process is overseen by an Independent Third Party, retired High Court Judge, Sir William Blackburne. As at the date of his sixth quarterly report, Sir William had received 169 appeals and communicated a conclusion to 55 customers. He has upheld 15 appeals in full or in part and has awarded a total of £38,000 additional redress to be paid to customers.
It was announced on 10 May 2018 that the role of the Independent Third Party would be expanded to include appeals on consequential loss outcomes. To date, the bank has received 4 claims for consequential loss. If successful, consequential loss claims are likely, on average, to result in higher payments to customers than those for direct loss.
Customers who wish to make a complaint once the scheme has closed will be able to utilise the bank’s usual complaints procedure but will not be able to appeal to the Independent Third Party.
Both Sir William Blackburne and the Financial Conduct Authority have been consulted in respect of the closure of the complaints process.
Customers in the Republic of Ireland were first informed of the GRG complaints process two months after those customers in the UK. The Central Bank of Ireland will be consulted regarding the closure date for new complaints in the ROI.
Customers are able to make a complaint in respect of their experience if they were under the control of GRG in the period 2008 – 2013 and if they fall within the review’s definition of a small or medium-sized company operating in the UK or the ROI.
Chairman Howard Davies said:
“Throughout the GRG complaints process – which was first announced more than 18 months ago – our focus has been on putting things right for those customers who did not receive the level of service and understanding they should have done whilst in GRG.
“We have worked hard to ensure high quality and fair decisions have been reached in response to the issues raised. These have been subject to rigorous independent assurance.
“The number of complaints is continuing to decline and with the Independent Third Party agreeing to accept consequential loss appeals, we have concluded that this is the appropriate time to give our UK customers notice of its closure to new complaints.”
Complaints data as at 13 July 2018
Appeals data taken from ITP 6th Quarterly Report