VIEWS: 7 PAGES: 13 POSTED ON: 10/5/2011
COMPLIANTS HANDLING POLICY First Mortgage Services Ltd First Mortgage Services Pty Ltd Sanderson Weir, Barristers & Solicitors Sanderson Weir Pty Ltd Document Details File Directory: Version Author Description of Version Date Completed V1.0 Donna Handley Initial draft for distribution and 22 November 2006 comments. V2.0 Donna Handley Amended 9th January 2008 V3.0 Donna Handley Amended 18th September 2008 V4.0 Donna Handley Amended 24th September 2008 V4.1 Chris Barry / Amended 10th March 2009 Donna Handley Complaints Handling Policy Page 2 of 13 Table of Contents 1. Objective 5 1.1 Commitment 5 1.2 Fairness 5 1.3 Resources 6 1.4 Visibility and Access 6 1.5 Assistance 6 1.6 Responsiveness 6 1.7 Charges 6 1.8 Remedies 6 1.9 Data Collection 6 1.10 Systemic and Recurring Problems 6 1.11 Accountability 7 1.12 Reviews 7 2. Defining a Complaint 7 3. Receiving a Complaint 7 3.1 Written Complaints ................................................................................ 7 3.2 Verbal Complaints ................................................................................. 8 4. Minimising Disputes 9 5. File Notes 9 6. Complaints Resolution Officer 10 7. Written Responses 11 Complaints Handling Policy Page 3 of 13 8. Remedies for Resolving Disputes 11 9. Complaints Register 12 10. Group Compliance 12 11. External Customer Improvement Suggestions 12 12. Employee Improvement Suggestions 13 13. Disputes 13 Complaints Handling Policy Page 4 of 13 1. Objective First Mortgage Services Limited (FMS) is a mortgage processing company who, in association with Sanderson Weir provide mortgage services to a number of clients in the NZ and Australian market. Sanderson Weir is a law firm with a specialist interest in property and mortgage transactions. The firm is a member of the New Zealand Law Society’s Property Law Section, is a specialist adviser to the mortgage industry and a legal adviser to the New Zealand Mortgage Brokers Association. FMS policy is to promote the highest standard of service for our clients and to ensure that all complaints are resolved in an efficient and professional manner in accordance with our legal requirements and to ensure complainant satisfaction. The purpose of this policy is to provide direction for staff as to how to manage complaints in accordance with the Australian Standard AS 4269-1995 - Complaints Handling (AS4269). Our Complaints Handling Policy demonstrates: 1.1Commitment We are committed to efficient and fair resolution of complaints by people in the organisation at all levels, including the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors. We acknowledge consumers’ rights to complain and actively solicit feedback from consumers. 1.2Fairness We recognise the need to be fair to both the complainant and the operations team or person against whom the complaint is made. The complaints process must be fair to both the complainant and the person or operations team against whom the complaint is made. All complaints should be treated as legitimate and investigated without prejudice. Complainants and respondents should be afforded natural justice throughout the complaint process. Natural justice involves the following processes. The complainant has the right to: Be heard. Know whether the organisation’s relevant product and service guidelines have been followed. Provide and request all relevant material to support the complaint. Be informed of the criteria and process, including the avenues for further review, applied by the organisation dealing with complaints. Be informed of the response of the person or organisation complained of. Be informed of the organisation’s decision and the reasons for that decision. Know that the complaint is being reviewed independently where possible. Confidentiality, if requested. The person or operations team about whom the complaint is made shall have the right to: Know all the allegations in relation to their behaviour. Have a full opportunity to put their case. Be heard. Complaints Handling Policy Page 5 of 13 Amass sufficient detail about the complaint to enable that person or operations team to properly investigate and respond to the complaint. Place all relevant material before the person investigating the complaint. Be informed of the decision and the reason for the decision. All parties to the complaint must have the right to: Have all relevant submissions and evidence considered. Not have matters which are not relevant taken into account. Have a decision-maker who will be fair and just. 1.3Resources We have adequate resources for complaints handling with sufficient levels of delegated authority. We further identify the need for complaints to be reviewed by someone in an independent position (i.e. someone who was not involved in the matter complained about). 1.4Visibility and Access Our complaints handling process will be available on our website for our complainants and all staff can assess this policy on our Intranet. The complaints handling process and supporting information is easy to understand and is in plain language. 1.5Assistance We will offer assistance to complainants in the formulation and lodgement of complaints. Where a complaint is lodged by a person with limited English skills, it is highly recommended that staff evaluate the need for an independent interpreter, particularly in relation to more serious complaints. An independent and qualified interpreter will assist in ensuring accurate translations. 1.6Responsiveness Complaints shall be dealt with quickly and the complainants shall be treated courteously. Timeframes for the resolution of complaints are set out in this policy. 1.7Charges There will be no charge to the complainant, to lodge a complaint, subject to statutory requirements. 1.8Remedies Our Complaints Handling Policy has the capacity to determine and implement remedies. 1.9Data Collection A Complaints Register will be kept to record complaints and outcomes. The records of complaints will be retained with restricted access where possible for reasons of confidentiality. 1.10 Systemic and Recurring Problems Complaints shall be classified and analysed for the identification and rectification of systemic and recurring problems. Complaints Handling Policy Page 6 of 13 1.11 Accountability We have appropriate reporting on the operation of the complaints handling process against documented performance standards. 1.12 Reviews Our Complaints Handling Policy will be reviewed annually to ensure the continuing effectiveness of the process. 2. Defining a Complaint Complaints that must be recorded under this policy may constitute, but are not limited to, the following: Where the complainant has suffered financial loss as a result of a failure on the part of the firm in the provision of a product and/or service pursuant to a contract. Failure to provide appropriate advice/information. Failure to meet customer protection standards or codes of conduct. Fraud. Breach of agreed service standards. Complaints received by FMS which result from the actions of a client or third party will not be recorded and dealt with under this policy. Items which fall outside of the above criteria will be handled as a grievance and will be recorded separately by the Manager. This grievance will not be entered as a complaint or dealt with under this policy. Grievances can generally be resolved immediately or within 24 hours. 3. Receiving a Complaint Complaints defined under item 2 above are to be recorded as outlined in this Policy. It is preferable that complaints are received in writing (including email, facsimile and letter). Verbal complaints will be accepted under this policy provided they come under the definition of a complaint under item 2. 3.1Written Complaints The written complaint should clearly state: The exact dissatisfaction with the product/service. Any financial loss incurred. This letter should be marked Private and Confidential and addressed to: Auckland Office Donna Handley The Complaints Resolution Officer Sanderson Weir P O Box 856 AUCKLAND 1140 Melbourne Office Bruce Walker The Complaints Resolution Officer First Mortgage Services Pty Limited Complaints Handling Policy Page 7 of 13 Locked Bag 13, Collins Street East, Melbourne VIC 8003 When a written complaint is received by an employee/Manager, the letter will be immediately handed to the Complaints Resolution Officer along with the matter file (where applicable) for initial assessment and resolution and/or action where required. 3.2Verbal Complaints Where possible it is desirable that complaints are submitted in writing by the complainant. Should the complainant not wish to comply with this request, then the following process will be followed. Always establish the identity of the caller and whether this is the client or some other person. (If the caller is not the client, you will require the permission of the client to discuss the matter. In these cases please refer the matter directly to the Client Resolution Officer). Identify yourself, listen, record details and determine what the complainant wants. Confirm the details received. Empathise with the complainant in a courteous manner. always refer to your Manager or the Client Resolution Officer for guidance on resolving the complaint. Explain the courses of action available. Do not attempt to lay blame or be defensive. Resolve the complaint if possible or commit to doing something immediately, irrespective of who will ultimately handle the complaint. The Complaints Resolution Officer must approve remedies before being offered to the complainant. Ensure that the complainant is informed and the complainant is receiving attention, without creating false expectations i.e. give a realistic timeframe for resolution. Check whether the complainant is satisfied with the proposed action and, if not, advise alternative courses of action. Summarise your understanding of the situation. Complete a file note or a Complaints Entry Form. If the complaint is resolved: Forward a copy of the file note or a Complaints Entry Form to your Manager who must enter the complaint into the Complaints Register. If the complaint remains un-resolved: Advise the complainant that the complaint will be forwarded to the Complaints Resolution Officer and they will be contacted within 24 hours. Provide details of the Complaints Resolution Officer to the complainant for future reference. The Manager must ensure that the file is handed to the Complaints Resolution Officer along with a Complaints Entry Form and any relevant file notes, copies of any relevant documents/correspondence for assessment and resolution and/or action where required. The Complaints Resolution Officer will have the responsibility of entering the complaint into the client Complaints Register. Complaints Handling Policy Page 8 of 13 4. Minimising Disputes Handling a difficult complainant needs patience and skill to avoid an initial “negative” situation becoming even more negative and degenerating into a dispute. The two main elements in a complaint situation that need to be effectively handled to minimise the likelihood of disputes are: 4.1Dealing with the complaint’s feelings Listen – this is the first step in reducing the tension. Acknowledge the complaint’s feelings – denying the complainant is, or has the right to be upset may antagonise the complainant. Empathise – relieves tension and so opens channels of communication. Do not offer excuses, or argue with the complainant. 4.2Dealing with the specifics of the complaint Ask the necessary questions in a polite and even-handed manner – to obtain the most detailed response. Agree on a solution – without appearing to dictate terms in order to avoid the likelihood of re-raising tension. Set a timetable. Take action on the agreed solution. 5. File Notes A file note must always be made to record any conversation. The file note must record the following information: The date and time of the telephone conversation. The names of the parties i.e. complainant name and borrower name. The persons involved in the call and the organisation they represent. Details of the complaint. What the resolution was. Any recommendations for service improvements put forward by the complainant. Your name. Remember files notes should be written in a professional and factual manner including all pertinent information discussed, as this information may be required in the event of further action. File notes should be stored in the client’s correspondence file with a copy in the centralised complaints folder. Complaints Handling Policy Page 9 of 13 6. Complaints Resolution Officer The FMS Complaints Resolution Officers are: Auckland Office Name: Donna Handley Telephone: + 64 9 3062 275 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Postal Address: P O Box 856, Auckland Physical Address: Level 13, AA Centre, 99 Albert Street, Auckland Melbourne Office Name: Bruce Walker Telephone: + 61 3 9935 9737 Email: email@example.com Postal Address: Locked Bag 13, Collins St East, Victoria, 8003, Australia Physical Address: Level 6, Exhibition Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000 6.1The Responsibility of the Complaints Resolution Officer The Complaints Resolution Officer must send a letter to the complainant within 24 hours of receipt of the complaint assuring earliest attention and that an investigation is underway. The complaint must be resolved with 3 business days where practical. Where the complaint cannot be resolved within 3 business days, the complainant must be contacted and the delay explained. In any event, the complaint must be resolved within 7 days from the date of receipt of the complaint. The complainant must be informed of the criteria and process, including the avenues for further review, applied by the Firm in dealing with complaints. Explain their rights to them and be patient and courteous. Ensure that the complainant is familiar with the complaints procedure. The complainant is entitled to receive a copy of our complaints handling procedure should they request it or if they are unfamiliar with the process. The complainant must be advised that they have a right to be heard and supply material in support of their complaint, if they desire. The complaint details for each complaint must be kept on the matter file or in the absence of a matter file a complaints file must be opened. The file must contain at least the following information: Copies of background data e.g. all correspondence. File notes of interviews with relevant staff. Copies of all correspondence sent to the client in relation to the complaint. File notes of all telephone conversations with the client and the Firm. Action plan to resolve the complaint. The Complaints Resolution Officer must contact the relevant employees, and request a written report from each one. The Complaints Resolution Officer must arrange a meeting with the relevant employees and team leader to discuss the complaint and develop an immediate action plan to resolve it. Where possible, complaints should be reviewed by someone in an independent position (e.g. someone who has not been involved in the matter complained about). Ideally, if the complaint is about the quality of advice or service or the appropriateness of the advice, the person to independently review the complaint should be the Compliance Manager, due to the technical nature of the advice provided. When responding to the complainant’s complaint, the following must be included: Reason for the decision. Address the issue raised in the initial complaint. Complaints Handling Policy Page 10 of 13 Refer to applicable provisions in legislation, codes, standards or procedures. Advise the complainant that if they are not satisfied with the outcome of their compliant, they may refer their complaint to the Chief Executive Officer. A copy of the response to the complainant must be given to the relevant employee involved. The Complaints Resolution Officer should, at all times, keep the complainant informed in writing of what is happening. Wherever possible, try to keep to a timetable and, if there are any delays, advise the complainant promptly in writing and inform them of when they can expect to hear additional information. The Complaints Resolution Officer will assess the complaint and recommend a course of action having regard to the guidelines documented in this policy, including investigation of the complaint and the steps taken towards the resolution of the issue. The recommendation from the Complaints Resolution Officer is reviewed by the Chief Executive Officer for approval. 7. Written Responses A written response should be provided when a complainant has requested for written confirmation, we have received the complaint in writing or the resolution is complex. The written response should include the following information: Acknowledgment of his/her complaint, if this is the first contact. Confirmation of details received. Statement of our legal/policy position. Course of action/remedies available. Commitment to doing something immediately, irrespective of who will ultimately handle the complaint. Inform the complainant their complaint is receiving attention, without creating false expectations i.e. give a realistic timeframe for resolution. Request advice from the complainant as to whether they are satisfied with the proposed action. The written response must be signed or approved by the Client Resolution Officer. 8. Remedies for Resolving Disputes Possible remedies available to the Complaints Resolution Officer for resolving disputes in include the following. The Chief Executive Officer must approve all financial remedies above $200.00 before being offered to the complainant. Apology Financial assistance Provision of free services Reduction or refund of fees paid Compensation Disciplinary action against employee Mediation Refund; Additional information Other assistance Goodwill gift or token In dealing with a complaint, ensure the company addresses all aspects of the complaint; follow up where appropriate and; whether it is appropriate to offer remedies to others Complaints Handling Policy Page 11 of 13 who may have suffered in the same way as the complainant but did not make a formal complaint. It is the responsibility of the Complaints Resolution Officer to report the dispute to the Chief Executive Officer if appropriate. 9. Complaints Register 9.1Maintenance The Complaints Resolution Officer must maintain the Complaints Register. Complaints must be kept on the register for 7 years. Every complaint must be recorded on the Register. 9.2Information to be recorded in the Complaints Register The following information must be recorded: Date of the complaint. The name of the lender. The name of the person making the complaint. Circumstances giving rise to the complaint. Action taken/status including date. Resulting internal actions i.e. service improvements/training. Recommendations for process improvements. 10. Group Compliance It is the responsibility of Group Compliance to: Notify our professional indemnity insurer of the dispute if applicable. Review the Complaints Register on a monthly basis for the purpose of providing analysis to the Executive Committee on systemic and recurring problems. This analysis will assist the company to determine the cause of complaints and whether remedial action is warranted. As stated in AS 4269-1995 (Clause 3.2) the aggregated data can be used to: Redesign products and services. Change organisational practices and procedures. Retrain staff on product and service redelivery. Re-assess consumer information needs; eg labelling/instructions. Assess the performance of after-sales service. Give early warning about potential product and service defects. 11. External Customer Improvement Suggestions Where a complainant puts forward ideas for improvement of services or processes these should be notified to the Manager who will record any ideas for improvements in the Complaints Register as an innovation suggestion. By recording complainant recommendations we have a mechanism of tracking what the people we deal with are asking for. Monitoring of this feedback is one of the best ways to improve the products and services provided. Complaints Handling Policy Page 12 of 13 12. Employee Improvement Suggestions Where an employee wishes to put forward their own ideas for improvement of services or processes these should be notified to their Manager who will record any ideas for improvements in the Complaints Register as an innovation suggestion. 13. Disputes If you do not believe that your complaint has been satisfactorily managed or responded to, your concerns can be escalated for review. In these circumstances, your concerns should be referred to the Chief Executive Officer. In reviewing the actions of the Complaints Resolution Officer, consideration will be given to the management of your initial complaint and the outcome achieved. Complaints Handling Policy Page 13 of 13
"Business Unit Team Plan"