what will the ifa do in response to a complaint 1 by 8gobJ6


									What will the IFA do in response to a complaint?
The Director of Professional Standards will first review the complaint and if there appears to be a case
to answer, will obtain the Member’s defence in writing. The papers will then be sent to the Institute’s
Independent Assessor for him/her to judge whether there is a prima facie case for the Member to
answer. If there is, the case will go to a meeting of the Disciplinary Committee. Te Member and the
Complainant will be advised of the outcome and there is then a period during which an appeal may be
made by the Member (there is no appeal for the Complainant).

The complaints procedure is a non-statutory, non-judicial, review by a group of the Member, Affiliate or
Student’s peers (however, only members and lay members will be appointed to the Conduct
Committees, not students). The purpose of the review is to decide whether the Member, Affiliate or
Student has broken the IFA's rules (including the Articles of Association), the Money Laundering
Regulations or Code of Ethics and, if so, whether he or she should be penalised (and to what extent).

The IFA will only take on cases where an individual Member is named; it does not take on cases against
firms. The Institute cannot resolve fees disputes between Members and clients.

The procedure:

   is an internal one and not Government or State run; it follows a logical pat, but may not be resolved
    for some time (weeks/months) depending on its complexity and the amount of work involved;

   is based upon the rules of the Institute and those of “natural justice";

   involves an initial review by an Independent Assessor (legally and accountancy qualified) and (if it is
    ruled that there is a case to answer) Committees of both Institute members and lay (ie non-
    members of the IFA) members looking at the conduct of the Member/ Affiliate/Student against
    whom a complaint has been made; and

   can penalise the Member/Affiliate/Student, but will not be able to directly assist complainants in
    having any work completed/rectified or to receive compensation.

Making a complaint to the IFA is not an alternative to taking other action, such as commencing a civil
action or notifying the police. Complainants faced, for example, with a possible case of fraud should
make a complaint to the IFA and notify the police and/or SOCA (the Serious Organised Crime Agency) as

What happens if the police/SOCA are about to investigate, or are already investigating, a
Where a complaint is made to the Institute that one of its Members/Affiliates/Students has committed
an offence that is, or that is about to be, the subject of a police investigation, it is unlikely that the IFA
will wish to pursue the complaint until the investigation has been concluded and the outcome known.
In such cases it is normal procedure to notify the Member/Affiliate/Student of the complaint, contact
the police, and await the outcome of their investigation. Should the person be under investigation by
SOCA, the IFA will take no action until there is a case to be brought before the courts, expect to provide
any information to SOCA that the Agency might require. To do more would possibly be regarded as
“tipping off” under the Police and Organised Crime Act 2002.

What happens if a Member/Student complained against is, or is about to be, the subject of
either criminal or civil litigation in a court of law?
Again, it is unlikely that the Institute will wish to pursue the complaint until the litigation has been
concluded and the outcome known. The Director of Professional Standards or one of his staff will
usually notify the Member/Student of the complaint, monitor the court proceedings and await the
outcome before taking the matter further.


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