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Financial Ombudsman Service.

February 27, 2012

The Financial Ombudsman Service deals with complaints by consumers regarding;

  • banking
  • insurance
  • mortgages
  • credit cards and store cards
  • loans and credit
  • pensions
  • savings and investments
  • hire purchase and pawnbroking
  • money transfer
  • financial advice
  • stocks, shares, unit trusts and bonds.

How to complain 

The consumer must give the business an opportunity to deal with the complaint first.

There is a time limit for dealing with the complaint of 8 weeks after which if not resolved satisfactorily a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service can be made.

The business will advise the consumer that a complaint must be made within 6 months of the final response. Overall there is a period of six years in which you must make a complaint to the service.

The Ombudsman won’t consider a complaint just because the product hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would or if it relates to a refusal to give you a loan.

How the complaint is dealt with.

The first stage is through guided mediation and informal recommended settlements.

An adjudicator will attempt to bring both sides together to try and reach a settlement.If the parties cannot agree then the adjudicator will issue an informal recommended settlement. It is then up to each party to decide whether they accept the recommendation

Adjudication

If a settlement can’t be achieved then the adjudicator will produce a formal adjudication. This document sets out the FOS recommendations as to whether the complaint is upheld or not. If either party doesn’t agree with the recommendation then they can ask for a further review and a final decision by the Ombudsman.

The decision.

Once a final decision is issued it is binding on the parties if the consumer accepts the decision. If the consumer doesn’t accept it then it is open to that party to issue proceedings in the civil courts.

Awards

The remedy is to put the consumer in the position they would have been if the business had not made the mistake. The maximum award is £100,000.