FOS backlog decision

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has announced the conclusion to its short consultation on how to reduce its case backlog.

FOS initially proposed that for a defined group of complaints already referred, it would create a separate category to record any complaint within this population that is proactively settled by a business before FOS has issued its opinion. Complaints settled in this way would not – for a restricted period – be recorded as having either a change in outcome or no change in outcome, but instead would be reported as a separate category when it publishes its business-specific complaints data. 

Initially, FOS proposed charging a case fee even if cases are resolved this way and presenting any offers from firms to consumers in a neutral way. Setting out that: 

  • The decision to make the offer was the business’s alone.  

  • The Financial Ombudsman Service cannot confirm whether it thinks the offer is a fair one. 

  • Accepting the offer is optional, and the Financial Ombudsman Service will continue to consider the complaint should the customer so wish. 

Following feedback, FOS has confirmed in its Feedback Statement it will be pushing forward with this policy with a few amendments. Specifically, that it now plans to review the fairness and reasonableness of any offer communicated through this process. Where it is fair and reasonable, FOS will put it forward to the customer. Where FOS does not consider it obviously fair and reasonable, it will challenge it. FOS will still charge its case fee.  

If you have any questions, email [email protected]

More tags