A firm has had its complaint against the Financial Conduct Authority rejected after it was fined £250 for not submitted its Gabriel return on time.
Complaints commissioner Antony Townsend upheld the FCA’s view that the firm should pay the fine.
This was despite the firm being unable to log in and being told over the phone that it might not be charged the fine.
Writing to the firm Mr Townsend said: “I have looked carefully at the FCA’s records.
“Having reviewed their records, I agree with their conclusion.
“In your response to my preliminary decision you claim you made numerous attempts to log into Gabriel. Unfortunately there is no record of you having done so.
“It is unfortunate – as the FCA have acknowledged – that it was suggested to you during one of the telephone calls that it was possible that you might not be charged the £250 fee, but that had no effect upon what happened.”
Mr Townsend said there was no evidence that the problems the firm faced was caused by a technical issue at the FCA and that in any case its attempts to submit its return came after the deadline.
The firm was required to submit an annual return by 18 May 2016 and was sent information, on several occasions, about this requirement.
On 6 June 2016, the FCA wrote to the firm to say that, because it had not submitted its return on time, it would be charged a late payment fee of £250.
The firm telephoned the FCA’s contact centre on 9 June 2016 to report that you were unable to log on to Gabriel and, after it had been given some advice by the contact centre and had its password reset, it was able to log on later that day.
Last year Mr Townsend rejected a complaint from an advice firm which had not submitted its return through Gabriel because it had not received a reminder from the FCA.
Mr Townsend said the regulator had no obligation to send reminders and the responsibility for submitting returns rests with the firm.
Last month the FCA said it would provide advisers with information on how it uses the data they submit through Gabriel after the issue was raised at its Live & Local events.