Financial Organization Complaint Handling


Introduction
  1. Under the current laws, International Registration Asset Management (IRAM) is responsible for promoting the general stability and proper functioning of the asset management and securities system alongside other regulatory organizations. Conforming to this mandate, IRAM seeks to ensure that all organizations are correctly operated and are functioning in a sound and sensible way and, adhering to acceptable standards of ethical behavior and sound business practices. Such organizations are referred to as “authorized financial organizations” in the remainder of this statement. These organizations involved in businesses relating to asset management and securities trading along with associated services.

  2. In its capacity as a monitor of the markets, IRAM has from occasionally received complaints about the way authorized financial organizations handled the affairs of customers. Following these complaints, which may indicate an opportunity for practices to be improved, this statement is composed to explain IRAM’s policy and how such complaints will be handled. This statement covers what is required from the complainant, discusses the conditions in which IRAM will investigate complaints against an authorized financial institution and gives further information on the actions IRAM can take over such complaints.

  3. There are 6 sections to the policy and the first 3 sections (paragraphs 4 –10) give broad guidance to complainants with regard to IRAM’s handling of complaints and the last 3 sections (paragraphs 11 – 22) provide an overview of IRAM’s role and the actions that can be taken.

    I. Address your complaint to the authorized financial institution first
  4. If you have a complaint about the products or services provided by an authorized financial institution, you should generally attempt to resolve the complaint directly with the authorized financial institution in the first instance. Complaining first to the authorized financial institution provides an opportunity for both the institution and complainant an opportunity to correct matters at an early stage.

  5. IRAM expects authorized financial organizations to have adequate policies in place for the appropriate handling of customer complaints. These organizations should be able to tell you how to make a complaint with them.

    II. When to make a complaint to IRAM
  6. If you are not satisfied with the manner in which the authorized financial institution has dealt with your complaint, or if the authorized financial institution has not responded within 30 days of receiving your complaint, you may seek the assistance of IRAM. Within the structure of our mandate, we will do what we can to assist, although our role is sometimes restricted.

  7. It is useful for IRAM to be made aware of your complaints against authorized financial organizations, in particular, those complaints that may draw attention to shortcomings in authorized financial organizations.

    III. How to lodge a complaint to IRAM about an authorized financial institution
  8. You should make your complaint in writing, with full details of the nature of your grievance, your name, and contact information. No special form is required for filing a written complaint with us.

  9. We do not accept verbal or anonymous complaints.

  10. You may send an email to the Supervisory Department of IRAM at complaints@iramcn.org.

    IV. The nature of IRAM’s role
  11. IRAM has not been given the role of an ombudsman. It is thus not able to adjudicate in disputes between customers and authorized financial organizations. Those considering lodging complaints should always bear in mind these limitations.

  12. IRAM also will not normally investigate complaints that relate solely to the cost or quality of services, commercial decisions of authorized financial organizations or investment performance. We do, however, expect authorized financial organizations to have adequate systems and policies in place to enable them to deal with all types of customer complaints in a thorough and timely manner.

  13. We will try to ensure that the authorized financial institution handles your complaint properly in a manner consistent with our guideline to the industry. However, it is important to recognize that we do not have the power to resolve contract disputes or other undocumented factual disputes. In particular, we cannot order the institution to pay you compensation 1.

    1 Request for compensation should be addressed directly to the authorized financial institution concerned. In case of need, a complainant may seek help from his/her own legal adviser or through other useful means.

    V. How IRAM will handle your complaint
  14. All complaints will be treated in the strictest of confidence, although we will obviously have to disclose the details to the authorized financial institution concerned.

  15. Upon receipt of a written complaint, we will reply to you, normally within seven working days.

  16. We will refer your complaint to the authorized financial institution for prompt investigation and for it to give you a response within a normal period of 30 days. In most cases, we will send a copy of your written representations to the institution in order for the latter to be able to follow up the complaint. By doing so, we will take it that by writing to us, you give your authority for us to disclose details of your complaint to the relevant authorized financial institution. If you do not agree to such disclosure and advise us so, we will take no action on your complaint unless a serious regulatory issue is identified in the information supplied by you.

  17. We will ask the authorized financial institution concerned to reply directly to you with as full an explanation as possible of the facts surrounding your complaint. We will also ask that it provides us with a copy of its response to you. Under special circumstances, authorized financial organizations may also be required to take alternative procedures.

  18. We will review the response provided in order to ensure that: (a) the authorized financial institution has properly handled your complaint and followed its own complaint procedures, and (b) the authorized financial institution has met with relevant regulatory requirements.

  19. If your complaint raises issues of supervisory concern, we will separately pursue these with the authorized financial institution.

    VI. Actions IRAM can take
  20. If the result of our review of a complaint, or a series of complaints suggests that an authorized financial institution has acted in a way that is imprudent or improper, according to relevant circumstances and referring to applicable laws and regulations, IRAM will take appropriate action against the institution, for instance by requiring it to modify its management controls.

  21. In case of supervisory concern, IRAM will follow up with the authorized financial institution to establish the facts and, if necessary, require remedial actions to be taken. Where it is established that major breaches of an authorized financial institution’s obligations have occurred, more onerous disciplinary actions (which may include the revocation of authorization) will be taken in accordance with the provisions of the law.

  22. It should be noted however that any measures IRAM may take against the authorized financial institution will not change the fact that IRAM cannot order the institution to pay compensation to you. Moreover, IRAM’s ability to disclose to you the outcome of its investigation and any action taken by it will be limited by the secrecy provisions of the law. Indeed, unless a public statement is made in accordance with the provisions of the law, IRAM will not be in a position to advise individual complainants of the nature and scale of its enquiries, or of the action it may, or may not, have taken.