Consumer tips for resolving a complaint with your bank or firm effectively

Posted On Tuesday May 19, 2020

During times of economic uncertainty, people often feel stressed about their finances. They spend more time thinking and worrying about money. Many will face unexpected expenses or loss of employment and lose the sense of security they had with their banks or firms. This may lead to concerns about being treated fairly.

We have learned from past experience that consumer complaints go up during difficult financial times. If you think you may have a complaint, read on. This resource shares our tips for helping you resolve a complaint with your bank or firm as quickly and effectively as possible.

Tip #1: Explain your problem clearly
If you can explain your problem and your concerns clearly, you will have a better chance of getting a resolution. This can be more difficult than it sounds when your problem is complicated, you have several concerns, or you are stressed. Try making a list of your concerns. Review it a few times and talk about it with someone you trust like a friend or family member.

Tip #2: Stay focused as you gather the evidence
Make sure you have a good understanding of the concerns you want to raise. Then, gather as many documents as you can that relate to your concerns. This might include documents such as original agreements or forms, account statements, letters and emails. Try choosing only documents that are directly connected to your concern and include important details.

Tip #3: Tell your bank or firm exactly what you want
When you have a stressful problem, it can be hard to think of what it will take to solve it. But it is important that you think carefully about this. You increase your chances of getting to a resolution quickly when you are direct about what you want from your bank or firm. Most of them try hard to help their customers, but they can’t change the past. If you can think of something that would fix the problem, tell them what that is. You may be surprised by how quickly they will fix your problem if they understand the best way to help you.

Tip #4: Keep your cool when you communicate
It is normal to take your finances personally. Unexpected changes can be stressful. Many of us find it hard to control feelings of anger, fear and disappointment when we are stressed. It is important to remember that your goal is to resolve your concern with your bank or firm. For this to happen, both sides need to communicate effectively.

Keep your cool when speaking to the people who are trying to fix your problem. They are human. It is harder to solve problems when someone comes across as rude, hostile or threatening. Communicate how you are feeling but be professional, or your dispute could drag on and make it impossible to reach a reasonable resolution.

Tip #5: Be realistic and open to a different perspective
When your bank or firm responds to your concern, listen to what they have to say. Do their answers make sense? Are these reasons backed up by the documents and evidence you have seen? If they are, be realistic. Consider whether you should change your point of view. If your bank or firm has offered to compensate you, think about their offer carefully. Get some opinions from people you trust.

Take a look at how complaints like yours were resolved. We have published many case studies on the OBSI website to explain our approach to the complaints we receive. If you are not sure about what to do or still feel dissatisfied with the response you received, you can go back to your bank or firm and escalate your concern. If you are still not satisfied, submit your complaint to us. We may be able to help.


Click here to make a complaint


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