Ombudsman Service - Resolving disputes with financial firms
the Financial Ombudsman Service
the FOS's job to settle individual complaints between consumers
and businesses providing financial services. If they uphold a
complaint, they can order matters to be put right.
were set up by parliament to do this – as independent experts
– and their service is free to consumers.
can look at complaints about a wide range of financial matters
– from insurance and mortgages to investments and credit.
Each year they deal with over a million enquiries and settle around
are completely independent and impartial – just as a judge
would be if the consumer went to court instead.
are not a regulator ("watchdog") or a trade body or
a consumer champion. Their role is to settle disputes, without
taking sides. So when they look at a complaint, they give both
sides a fair hearing.
a business isn't able to resolve a customer’s complaint
on its own, FOS will see if they can help settle the dispute.
But the business must first have the chance to sort things out
can often resolve disputes informally, but some cases are more
complex and take more time. FOS aim to settle most disputes within
six to nine months.
don’t have to accept any decision they make. They are always
free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an ombudsman's
decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.
service is confidential – they do not publish the names
of businesses or consumers whose complaints they handle.
The Financial Ombudsman Service can look at complaints about most
financial matters including, for example:
cards and store cards
purchase and pawnbroking
shares, unit trusts and bonds.
South Quay Plaza,
183 Marsh Wall.
helpline 0845 080 1800
provide general financial information, we urge you to consult an
Financial Adviser ( IFA )
before making any important decisions about your finances.