Customer Care and Complaints Procedure

Aims

The NI Small Business Loan Fund complaints procedure aims to:

  • Resolve complaints effectively and swiftly to the Applicant’s satisfaction at the earliest stage and within target timescales;
  • Provide a service, which can be easily accessed;
  • Set out simple procedures and clear responsibilities;
  • Treat equally all people, groups or organisations who complain;
  • Keep the Client informed about the progress of the complaint and let the client know the final decision and the reasons for it; and
  • Ensure that Clients are aware of their right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service in the event that they are not satisfied with our response.

Key Principles

The following key principles have been applied in developing the Customer Care and Complaints procedures for the NI Small Business Loan Fund:

  • Responsibilities for investigating and replying to the complaints should, in the first instance, lie with the ENI Loan Fund Team for the particular Client. A specific individual within the Loan Fund Team should be appointed to deal with all complaints; and
  • The Loan Fund Team at ENI should be aware of all complaints and provide regular reports on complaints and their follow up to Ulster Community Finance Ltd.

Complaints Procedure

Applicants will be debriefed by telephone if their application has been unsuccessful and this will be followed up with a standard letter.  If the Applicant is not satisfied with this, or any other aspect of service, they should follow the procedure below.

Stage One

If the Applicant is not satisfied with the reasons given in the telephone call, they should contact Michael Carlin at Enterprise NI in the first instance.  Contact should be made in writing to:

Michael Carlin
Enterprise Northern Ireland
Aghanloo Industrial Estate
Aghanloo Road
Limavady
BT49 0HE

Alternatively an email may be sent to:
‘michael.carlin@nibslf.com’

The letter / email should be clearly headed ‘NI Small Business Loan Fund Complaint’ and should clearly and concisely state the nature of the complaint.

We aim to deal with complaints straight away.  However, if it is not possible to deal with a complaint within three business days, correspondence (in the form in which the complaint was received i.e. email or letter) will be sent acknowledging the complaint, advising who is dealing with it, and stating when we will contact the complainant again.

A formal reply will be issued within three weeks, or the complainant advised in writing if this timeline cannot be met.  In the event that the complaint relates to a rejected application, the reply will state the specific reasons why the application was unsuccessful.

Stage Two

If the Applicant remains unsatisfied with the Stage One response, they should contact Barry Connolly at Ulster Community Finance Ltd, again in writing or by email.  Letters should be addressed to:

Barry Connolly
Ulster Community Finance Ltd
13-19 Linenhall Street
Belfast
BT2 8AA

The email address is:
‘barryconnolly@ucitltd.com’

Again, the complaint should be clearly identified as ‘NI Small Business Loan Fund Complaint’.  A formal written acknowledgement of receipt will be sent to the complainant within two business days, advising who is dealing with it and stating when we will contact them again.  A formal final response will be issued within three weeks.

The final response should:
a) accept the complaint and, where appropriate, offer redress or remedial action; or
b) offer redress or remedial action without accepting the complaint; or
c) reject the complaint and give reasons for doing so.

If a final response is not available within three weeks (eight weeks overall), then a written response should be issued indicating when it is expected that a final response will be available.

In both situations, the response must inform that complainant (if they are a private individual) that if they remain dissatisfied with the respondent’s response, they may now refer their complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service, and must do so within six months.  A copy of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s standard explanatory leaflet must also be enclosed.

Within the final response, or where a final response is expected to take more than eight weeks from the original complaint, we will advise the complainant of their right to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service, and include contact details.

Complaints outside the process

Complaints made to other organisations or in forms other than the above, will not be accepted.  Complaints made by third parties will also not be accepted and a standard letter has been drafted to respond to any such correspondence received.