Complaints Process


1.1 Complaint:
Complaint means an expression of dissatisfaction by a person to a provider or, to the knowledge of the provider, to the provider’s service supplier relating to a financial product or financial service provided or offered by that provider. It indicates or alleges, regardless of whether such an expression of dissatisfaction is submitted together with or in relation to a client query, that:

  1. the provider or its service supplier has contravened or failed to comply with an agreement, a law, a rule, or a code of conduct which is binding on the provider or to which it subscribes;
  2. the provider or its service supplier’s maladministration or willful or negligent action or failure to act has caused the person harm, prejudice, distress, or substantial inconvenience; or
  3. the provider or its service supplier has treated the person unfairly.


1.2 Complainant:
Complainant means a person who submits a complaint and includes:

  1. client;
  2. person nominated as the person in respect of whom a product supplier should meet financial product benefits or that person’s successor in title;
  3. person whose life is insured under a financial product that is an insurance policy;
  4. person that pays a premium or an investment amount in respect of a financial product;
  5. member;
  6. person whose dissatisfaction relates to the approach, solicitation marketing, or advertising material or an advertisement in respect of a financial product, financial service, or related service of the provider, who has a direct interest in the agreement, financial product, or financial service to which the complaint relates, or a person acting on behalf of a person referred to in (a) to (f).


1.3 Client Query:
Client query means a request to the provider or the provider’s service supplier by or on behalf of a client, for information regarding the provider’s financial products, financial services, or related processes, or to carry out a transaction or action in relation to any such product or service.


1.4 Compensation Payment:
Compensation payment means a payment, whether in monetary form or in the form of a benefit or service, by or on behalf of a provider to a complainant to compensate the complainant for a proven or estimated financial loss incurred as a result of the provider’s contravention, noncompliance, action, failure to act, or unfair treatment forming the basis of the complaint, where the provider accepts liability for having caused the loss concerned. However, it excludes any:

  1. goodwill payment;
  2. payment contractually due to the complainant in terms of the financial product or financial service concerned; or
  3. refund of an amount paid by or on behalf of the complainant to the provider where such payment was not contractually due. It includes any interest on late payment of any amount referred to in (b) or (c).


1.5 Goodwill Payment:
Goodwill payment means a payment, whether in monetary form or in the form of a benefit or service, by or on behalf of a provider to a complainant as an expression of goodwill aimed at resolving a complaint, where the provider does not accept liability for any financial loss to the complainant as a result of the matter complained about.


1.6 Member:
Member in relation to a complainant means a member of a:

  1. pension fund as defined in section 1 (1) of the Pension Funds Act, 1956 (Act 52 of 1956);
  2. friendly society as defined in section 1 (1) of the Friendly Societies Act, 1956 (Act 25 of 1956);
  3. medical scheme as defined in section 1(1) of the Medical Schemes Act, 1998(Act131 of 1998); or
  4. group scheme as contemplated in the Policyholder Protection Rules made under section 62 of the Long-term Insurance Act, 1998, and section 55 of the Short-term Insurance Act, 1998.


1.7 Rejected:
Rejected in relation to a complaint means that a complaint has not been upheld and the provider regards the complaint as finalized after advising the complainant that it does not intend to take any further action to resolve the complaint. It includes complaints regarded by the provider as unjustified or invalid, or where the complainant does not accept or respond to the provider’s proposals to resolve the complaint.


1.8 Reportable Complaint:
Reportable complaint means any complaint other than a complaint that has been:

  1. upheld immediately by the person who initially received the complaint;
  2. upheld within the provider’s ordinary processes for handling client queries in relation to the type of financial product or financial service complained about, provided that such process does not take more than five business days from the date the complaint is received; or
  3. submitted to or brought to the attention of the provider in such a manner that the provider does not have a reasonable opportunity to record such details of the complaint as may be prescribed in relation to reportable complaints.


1.9 Upheld
Upheld means that a complaint has been finalized wholly or partially in favour of the complainant and that:

  1. the complainant has explicitly accepted that the matter is fully resolved; or
  2. it is reasonable for the provider to assume that the complainant has so accepted; and
  3. all undertakings made by the provider to resolve the complaint have been met or the complainant has explicitly indicated its satisfaction with any arrangements to ensure such undertakings will be met by the provider within a time acceptable to the complainant.


1.10 Internal Complaints Review and Escalation Process

Internal Complaints Review and Escalation Process means the system and procedures established and maintained by the FSP in accordance with the General Code of Conduct for the resolution of reportable complaints lodged against the FSP by complainants.



In terms of section 17(1)(a) of the General Code of Conduct for Authorized Financial Services Providers and Representatives (“the General Code of Conduct”), a provider must establish, maintain, and operate an adequate and effective complaints management framework to ensure the effective resolution of complaints and the fair treatment of complainants. The complaints management framework must be based on the following outcomes:

  • Is proportionate to the nature, scale, and complexity of the provider’s business and risks;
  • Is appropriate for the business model, policies, services, and clients of the provider;
  • Enables complaints to be considered after taking reasonable steps to gather and investigate all relevant and appropriate information and circumstances, with due regard to the fair treatment of complainants;
  • Does not impose unreasonable barriers to complainants; and
  • Must address and provide for the matters as contained in Part XI of the General Code of Conduct.

In order to achieve the above outcomes, Stocks+Wealth Financial Planning has adopted a complaints policy which outlines the organization’s commitment towards the fair, transparent, and effective resolution of complaints. The organization will also ensure that the Complaints Management Framework is regularly reviewed to ensure its effectiveness.



The organization is committed to rendering financial services with the proper due skill, care, and diligence and in the best interests of its clients. Despite the organization’s high service standards, there may be instances where a client nevertheless prefers to submit a formal complaint against the organization. In such instances, the organization will follow the complaints management framework as outlined below.

The FSP is committed to a transparent and accessible complaints resolution process that is fair to all parties involved. In order to achieve these outcomes, the FSP undertakes as follows:

The organization’s complaints management framework incorporates the following features, which the organization is committed to enforcing at all times:

  • Relevant objectives, key principles, and the proper allocation of responsibilities for dealing with complaints across the business of the organization;
  • Appropriate performance standards and remuneration and reward strategies (internally and where any functions are outsourced) to ensure objectivity and impartiality in complaints management;
  • Documented procedures for the appropriate management and categorization of complaints, including expected timeframes and circumstances under which these timeframes may be extended;
  • Documented procedures that define the escalation, decision-making, monitoring, oversight, and review processes within the complaints management framework;
  • Appropriate complaint record-keeping, monitoring, and analysis, with reporting to executive management, the board of directors, and any relevant board committee on identified risks, trends, and actions taken in response, as well as the effectiveness and outcomes of the complaints management framework.
  • Appropriate communication with complainants and their representatives on complaints and complaints processes and procedures;
  • Appropriate engagement between the organization and the relevant Ombud;
  • Compliance with requirements for reporting to the Regulator and public reporting in accordance with part XI of the General Code of Conduct.


A process for managing complaints relating to the organization’s representatives and service suppliers, insofar as they relate to services provided in connection with the organization’s financial products, financial services, or related services. This process will:

  • Enable the organization to reasonably satisfy itself that the representative or service supplier has adequate complaints management processes in place to ensure the fair treatment of complainants;
  • Provide for the monitoring and analysis by the organization of aggregated complaints data relating to complaints received by its representatives and service suppliers and their outcomes;
  • Include effective referral processes between the organization and its representatives and service suppliers for handling and monitoring complaints that are submitted directly to either of them and require referral to the other for resolution;
  • Include processes to ensure that complainants are appropriately informed of the process being followed and the outcome of the complaint.
  • Regular monitoring of the complaints management framework by the organization.
  • Resolution of client complaints through a practical resolution process managed effectively by the organization.
  • Training and empowerment of all relevant staff members to facilitate and resolve complaints impartially.
  • Timely and fair handling of complaints, with each complaint receiving proper consideration.
  • Necessary steps taken to promptly investigate and respond to complainants.
  • Appointment of an independent mediator where deemed necessary to resolve a complaint.
  • Offering appropriate redress to complainants without delay where the complaint is resolved in their favour.
  • Maintenance of records of all complaints for five years, indicating whether or not the complaint has been resolved.
  • Investigation and, where necessary, appropriate action taken to avoid and prevent similar circumstances that gave rise to the complaint.
  • Accurate, efficient, and secure recording of complaints and complaints-related information, with appropriate processes established and maintained for reporting complaints-related information to the governing body.
  • Ensuring transparency, visibility, and accessibility of complaints processes and procedures through channels appropriate to the organization’s clients.



The board of directors of the organization is responsible for effective complaints management. In the absence of a board of directors, the governing body and key individual of the organization will be responsible, in this instance Mr. Robert Taylor, the licensed financial services provider.

The board of directors or governing body and the key individual of the organization will oversee and approve the effectiveness and implementation of the organization’s complaints management framework.

The internal complaint review and escalation process may be delegated to a senior management member, and any queries relating to the aforementioned process must be directed to them.



Any person in the organization responsible for making decisions or recommendations in respect of complaints generally or a specific complaint must:

  • Be adequately trained;
  • Have an appropriate mix of experience, knowledge, and skills in complaints handling, fair treatment of customers, the subject matter of the complaints concerned, and relevant legal and regulatory matters;
  • Not be subject to a conflict of interest; and
  • Be adequately empowered to make impartial decisions or recommendations.



The organization categorizes reportable complaints according to the following nine categories:

  • Complaints relating to the design of a financial product, financial service, or related service, including the fees, premiums, or other charges related to that financial product or financial service.
  • Complaints relating to information provided to clients.
  • Complaints relating to advice.
  • Complaints relating to financial product or financial service performance.
  • Complaints relating to service to clients, including complaints relating to premium or investment contribution collecting or lapsing of a financial product.
  • Complaints relating to financial product accessibility, changes, or switches, including complaints relating to redemptions of investments.
  • Complaints relating to complaints handling.
  • Complaints relating to insurance risk claims, including non-payment of claims.
  • Other Complaints.

If the organization deems it necessary to add additional categories relevant to its financial products, financial services, and/or client base, it will do so to support the effectiveness of the organization’s complaints management framework, thereby enhancing improved outcomes and processes for its clients.
The organization will categorize, record, and report on reportable complaints by identifying the category of complaint to which the complaint most closely relates and group complaints accordingly.



Through the adoption of this policy, the organization establishes an appropriate internal complaints escalation and review process.

The organization is committed to ensuring that the procedures within the complaints escalation and review process are not overly complicated and do not impose unduly burdensome paperwork or other administrative requirements on complainants.

The internal complaint escalation and review process:

  • Follows a balanced approach, considering the legitimate interests of all parties involved, including the fair treatment of complainants.
  • Provides for the internal escalation of complex or unusual complaints at the request of the initial complaint handler.
  • Provides for complainants to escalate complaints not resolved to their satisfaction.

As specified previously, is allocated to a senior member of management, who is an impartial, senior functionary within the organization, and is appointed by the organization to manage the internal escalation and review process.



Stocks+Wealth Financial Planning follows a practical process for dealing with complaints. During a weekly assessment, any potential complaint is noted and addressed immediately.



Where a complaint is upheld, any commitment by the organization to make a compensation payment, goodwill payment, or to take any other action must be carried out without undue delay and within the agreed timeframes.

Where a complaint is rejected, the organization will provide the complainant with clear and adequate reasons for the decision, and will also inform the complainant of the organization’s escalation or review process, including any relevant time limits.

The organization will clearly and transparently communicate the availability and contact details of the relevant Ombud to complainants at the start of the relationship and in relevant periodic communications. The organization will also display and make available information regarding the relevant Ombud on its premises and website.



The organization is committed to transparent engagement with any relevant Ombud regarding its complaints.

The organization will monitor determinations, publications, and guidance issued by any relevant Ombud to identify failings or risks in the organization’s policies, services, or practices.

The organization will maintain open and honest communication and cooperation between itself and any Ombud with which it deals.

The organization is also committed to resolving a complaint before a final determination or ruling is made by an Ombud, or through the organization’s internal escalation process, without impeding or unduly delaying a complainant’s access to an Ombud.

The organization will ensure that it has appropriate processes in place to ensure compliance with any prescribed requirements for reporting complaints related information to any designated authority or to the public as may be required by the Regulator.