Complaints against the regulators

The Financial Services Act 2012 requires the Bank of England, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), together known as the 'regulators', to have arrangements for the investigation of complaints against them. These arrangements are known as the complaints scheme.

What does the complaints scheme cover?

The Complaints Scheme covers complaints about the way in which the regulators have carried out, or failed to carry out, their ‘relevant functions’ including complaints alleging: a) mistake and lack of care; b) unreasonable delay; c) unprofessional behaviour; d) bias; and e) lack of integrity. More detailed information on the Scheme’s coverage and the regulators’ ‘relevant functions’ can be found in the Complaints Scheme which was updated on 1 November 2023.

The Scheme also sets out situations where we cannot investigate. For example, we cannot consider: 

  • complaints about firms we regulate. We do not investigate personal issues with bank/insurance companies, such as a banking account problems, home or motor insurance claims or personal pensions. If you have a complaint about a regulated firm, you should initially raise this with the firm itself. If the firm cannot resolve the matter directly, you may be able to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Additionally, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme can consider claims for compensation regarding certain firms; 
  • complaints about our rules or guidance; or
  • complaints about other regulators.

Anyone can make a complaint if they are directly affected by the matters they complain about. A complaint must be made within 12 months of you having become aware of the matters that gave rise to it, unless you can demonstrate reasonable grounds for delay. The full text of our scheme can be found here:

The Complaints Scheme

Please refer to the March 2016 Complaints Scheme for complaints made to us on or before 31 October 2023. 

If you are making a complaint relating to the question of whether a Recognised Clearing House (RCH) or Recognised Central Securities Depository (RCSD) should remain a recognised body, and you are not making a complaint about the regulators, you should write to: 

FMI Information
Bank of England
FMI Supervision Directorate, MG-SE-3
20 Moorgate
London EC2R 6DA

How to make a complaint against the regulators

There are several ways you can contact us if you want to make a complaint. You can:

  • Download a printable form (PDF) and post it to us, or send us a letter using the following address:
    Complaints against the Regulators 
    Bank of England
    20 Moorgate
    London EC2R 6DA

We want to make sure you can make a complaint and communicate with us effectively. If you have a physical or mental impairment that impacts how you access our information and services and/or you need information in a different format such as audio recording, large print, or spoken word, please email or write to us and we will do our best to meet any reasonable adjustments required. Please also see our Accessibility Statement.

We know the issues leading to a complaint can be frustrating or distressing. Please be polite to our colleagues, as we do not tolerate abusive behaviour towards them. 

What will you do once I have made a complaint?

We will acknowledge complaints in writing within five working days of receipt. Within four weeks of receipt, we will tell you whether or not we intend to investigate your complaint, including the anticipated timescale for dealing with it.

In any event, we will endeavour to provide you with a substantive response to your complaint as soon as possible. We aim to complete investigations within eight weeks of receipt. However some more complex cases may take longer. We will write to you every four weeks to keep you informed of the progress of your complaint.

We will liaise with the FCA to ensure the appropriate regulator handles your complaint or where a joint investigation is appropriate. You can contact the FCA directly via its Complaints website or the FCA Complaints Helpline on 020 7066 9870.

What happens if I am not happy with the outcome?

If you are not happy with the outcome of your complaint, you can contact the Office of the Complaints Commissioner  (the Commissioner). The Commissioner provides an independent assessment of the investigation made under the Scheme. You must contact the Commissioner within three months of receiving our decision letter, or our letter informing you that we will not investigate the complaint.

The Complaints Commissioner publishes their response to each complaint they deal with. In some cases the Commissioner will ask us to respond to their findings. Our responses are published here:

Date The Complaint Commissioner's Report PRA response 
13 July 2023
19 July 2022
 7 April 2022 Response – PRA000021 (pdf)
15 July 2021 OCC Annual Report (pdf)
21 June 2021
21 June 2021
21 April 2021 Complaint number PRA00016 (pdf) Response - PRA00016 (pdf)
17 July 2018

Complaints Scheme consultation

On Thursday 27 July 2023, the FCA, the PRA and the Bank of England together published a policy statement PS10/23 – Complaints against the regulators. This PS sets out the PRA’s, FCA’s and Bank of England’s (the ‘regulators’) joint final policy regarding updates to the joint scheme for handling complaints against the regulators themselves (as opposed to complaints against regulated firms). The updates to scheme aim to make it easier for complainants to understand what they could reasonably expect from the scheme and clarify the regulators’ approach to compensation. 

On Tuesday 21 July 2020, the Bank, PRA, and FCA jointly published a consultation paper setting out proposed changes to the joint scheme for handling complaints against the regulators themselves (as opposed to complaints against regulated firms). The paper proposed a new version of the scheme to simplify its wording and make it more accessible to its main users – consumers and small businesses – as well as others.

1 February 2023: We are currently working to finalise our consultation response and revised Complaints Scheme. The Financial Services and Markets Bill currently going through Parliament contains provisions relating to the accountability of regulators. Our view is that it would be most appropriate to finalise changes to the Complaints Scheme after this process has concluded. We currently expect to publish our response to the consultation and the final revised Complaints Scheme in spring 2023.

21 April 2022: Following the publication of the Interest Rate Hedging Product review and the report from the Office of the Complaint’s Commissioner on the FCA’s handling of complaints in relation to London Capital & Finance (LCF), along with the FCA and the Bank we intend to finalise the revised Complaints Scheme and aim to publish the policy statement shortly, please note this will not be by the end of April 2022 as previously indicated.

December 2021: Further to the June 2021 update we would like to provide a further update on the publication of the policy statement following the Complaints Scheme consultation. In light of the publication of the independent review of the FSA/FCA’s supervisory intervention on Interest Rate Hedging Products, we now anticipate publishing the policy statement and revised Complaints Scheme by end of April 2022.

June 2021: Following closure of the consultation on proposals to amend the Complaints Scheme, the Regulators are currently analysing the responses received so that they can take further decisions about the proposals. In the meantime, the Regulators are conscious of the concerns raised by some respondents regarding the timing of the amendments to the Scheme. In light of this, the Regulators’ policy statement on the consultation and any changes to the Scheme will not be published until towards the end of 2021. This will allow time for the publication of the report following the independent review of the FSA/FCA’s supervisory intervention on Interest Rate Hedging Products and for any associated complaints to be lodged for consideration under the present Scheme.


Privacy Notice

Information we collect

When you submit a complaint to the regulators, the Bank of England (‘we’ or the ‘Bank’) collects personal data about you. 

We may also collect information from other areas of the Bank that you may have interacted with, where those interactions may be relevant to your complaint.

This information may include contact details, professional information, financial information, location-based information, or information about your health, criminal background, race, sexuality, gender, political affiliations, age, or religion. This will depend on the level of information you have chosen to provide in relation to your complaint. You only need to provide information to us that you believe is relevant to the circumstances of your complaint.

Why we need your personal data

We collect your personal data to handle your complaint and to be able to communicate with you. Details of the Complaints Scheme are set out in the Scheme document.

If you do not provide the information, then we will not be able to consider your complaint. We may however use the circumstances of your complaint to consider whether our processes worked properly and whether we should do anything to address those findings.

What we do with your personal data

We use the information to send you emails/letters or to telephone you, dependent on your preferences. The information may also be used as facts within the complaints investigation. We may also share this information with the FCA if we believe your complaint may relate to the FCA’s objectives or should be addressed by more than one regulator. We will only share your information with the Office of the Complaints Commissioner if you have contacted them directly and asked the Commissioner to review your complaint.  

We only process your personal data in the United Kingdom. Safeguarding your personal data is important to us. Your personal data will be stored on secure Bank systems with controlled access; more information on our security practices can be found on our website

We will hold your personal information on our systems for as long as is necessary for the relevant activity. If your complaint is not within the scope of the Complaints Scheme (for example if it is a complaint about a financial institution rather than the regulators) then we will endeavour to return any documents you have provided to us, so we do not have a record of any unnecessary personal information). You can request that we no longer use your personal data, by writing to us at the address below.

Your rights

You have various rights under data protection laws. For example, you may have the right to have your personal data rectified or erased. In addition, you can ask us to change how we process or deal with your personal data. 

You also have the right to ask us for a copy of the personal data the Bank holds about you. This is sometimes known as a ‘Subject Access Request’.

To contact us about those rights, including making a request for the personal data we hold about you, please contact us on:

The Information Access Team (HO-M)
Bank of England
Threadneedle Street
London, EC2R 8AH

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) via their website.

More information

The Bank’s Data Protection Officer can also be contacted via the details above. Our privacy policy is also available via the ‘Privacy’ link at the bottom of our website.

This page was last updated 31 October 2023