What is the Financial Ombudsman Service?

SMP Healthcare

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) was set up by Parliament to resolve individual complaints between financial businesses and their customers. They have the authority to look in to issues involving most types of matters that involve money. If the FOS believe that someone has been unfairly treated then they have the legal powers to put things right.

In the last year people have contacted the FOS with problems relating to:

  • bank accounts
  • credit, debit and store cards
  • payment protection insurance (PPI)
  • other insurance, like motor, travel and household
  • loans, including payday loans
  • other credit, like car finance
  • mortgages
  • repayment problems and debt collection
  • money transfers and online payments
  • financial advice, savings and investments
  • pensions

Although the FOS has the power to intervene, it is important that complaints are registered in the correct way and within acceptable timescales. The business you are unhappy with must always be given the opportunity to rectify and put right the situation that you are complaining about. Whether you are wanting to make a complaint about advise from a financial adviser, insurance company or health insurance broker. The rules would remain the same.

If they do not respond with an answer within 8 weeks or you are unhappy with the answer given, the financial ombudsman service will then be able to get involved. The FOS are able to deal with most complaints however, there are some types of complaint that they cannot assist with. For clarification they recommend that you phone them to enable them to assess the claim you wish to make.

Once the 8 weeks have passed you can contact the FOS either by telephone, email or online and their website provides you with more detailed information about their aims and social responsibilities.

The Financial Ombudsman Service decision (or “award”) must be complied with promptly by the business as well as any settlement that may have been agreed. If need be, the consumer can go to court to enforce an ombudsman decision.

The above details have been sourced from http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/default.htm