Claim yourself

You don’t need to use a Claims Management Company like refundfix to get your money back (and can save paying a fee if you don’t). If you feel confident doing it yourself, you can. Here’s a guide on how to do it.

Step 1: Complain to your bank 

Don’t be put off doing it yourself. While it might help, you don’t need to have a ‘technical’ argument quoting legislation, regulations or good industry practice. The bank should know what these laws, regulations or good standards of practice are when you complain to them. You simply need to state why you feel wronged and what you’d like them to do to put it right.

How to complain to your bank


You can complain to your bank how you like, it just depends on how your bank operates. For example:

  • By e-mail (though lots of banks don’t have one)

  • By post

  • By telephone

  • In branch

  • Through their online chat (if available)

It’s usually best to put your complaint in writing to make sure it’s recorded properly. But if you complain in branch or over the phone, be explicit you’re complaining and ask them about next steps. 

The easiest way to find out where to complain is to Google your bank’s name and complaints procedure (e.g. search “Barclays complaints procedure”). They’re obliged to publish it on their website.

What happens next?


Banks have up to 8 weeks to respond to your complaint and issue you what is called a ‘final response’ (and just 15 days for payments-related complaints). It should be clear that it’s their final response on the matter and at the end of the letter/email you’ll find details on how to appeal to the Financial Ombudsman Service should you wish to do so. One of the following two things are most likely to happen:

  1. Your bank refunds the money you lost. In this case, happy days. You’re done.

  2. Your bank rejects your complaint. In this case you now have the right to escalate it to the Financial Ombudsman Service for an independent review.

IMPORTANT: You must escalate your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service within 6 months of your final response or you’ll likely lose your right to do so.

Step 2: Complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service


More so than complaining to your bank, you don’t need to quote laws, regulations or codes of practice to succeed. Despite its official sounding name, the Financial Ombudsman Service is set up to ‘level the playing field’ between consumers and large businesses such as banks. They’ll know the relevant laws, regulations and codes of practice.

The Financial Ombudsman Service website shows you how to complain to them.

To put it simply, you either need to:

  • Fill in their online claim form

  • Email them

  • Post your complaint (downloading their complaint form first) or;

  • Call to start off your complaint

It’s free to use the Financial Ombudsman Service.

What next?

Timescales for cases that end up with the Financial Ombudsman Service can vary hugely, so you might need to be patient. It’s not unheard of for cases to take many years; however, most cases should take much less time than that. 

What if I’m not happy with the Financial Ombudsman Services decision?

There are two stages within the Ombudsman service process. Stage 1 is where an ‘investigator’ looks into your case and tries to resolve it. They’ll provide you with their first assessment of the merits of your case. If you or the bank you complained about are unhappy with the outcome, either party can ask for an “Ombudsman decision”. This is the second and final stage of their process. 

What if I lose my case at the Financial Ombudsman Service? 

Whether an Ombudsman final decision is legally binding or not is the decision of you, the consumer. So if you’re unhappy with their decision you can reject or ignore it. 

At this point you’ll need to decide whether you wish to pursue your claim in court. This is also where your journey with refundfix would end, as we don’t represent clients in court cases.