The Financial Ombusdman Service (FOS) are an often unknown service put into place to protect consumers against any ill behaviour from financial services across the UK. Established in 2000 and later given the legal rights they needed to help settle disputes, they now provide support to thousands of consumers and business across the country on a number of cases, from working with the best PPI company on complaints cases, to directly helping a consumer with repayment issues or debt collection. Below, we’re taking a deeper look into just who the FOS are and what they could help you with in the future.
Who Are The FOS?
In 2000, the Financial Ombudsman Service was brought into fruition by the UK’s official parliament but it wasn’t until 2001 that they were given the powers needed to help consumers and businesses alike with ongoing financial disputes. While they are usually a last port of call, only used when a business and customer can’t come to an agreement themselves, they do provide impartial and unbiased advice and support to both the business and the consumer although legally, they do have the power to help resolve disputes.
What Can They Help With?
In general, the FOS offers support and action for a number of different financial services, though more recently a huge percentage of this has rested in PPI. Millions are owed in PPI compensation across the country and the FOS has helped thousands resolve disputes, whether due to a refusal for compensation or where a business may no longer be operating. They even have a section dedicated entirely to PPI on their website in order to truly offer a wealth of information to consumers.
While PPI is a focus for the FOS currently, they can also help with any disputes revolving around:
- Bank Accounts
- Credit, Debit and Store Cards
- Insurance (Motor, Travel, Household)
- Payday Loans
- Credit (Car Finance)
- Repayment Issues And Debt Collection
- Money Transfers
- Online Payments
- Financial Advice
How Long Does A Complaint Take?
While the FOS will do their best to look at and complete every case in good time, there is no set period in which your particular complaint will be looked at. The complexity of your case and the speed at which they can get hold of any necessary information will both have an effect on just how long it’ll take for the dispute to be resolved. The FOS claim that:
“[they] can sort out some complaints within just a few weeks – and around two thirds of cases within three months”
However, they also state that some cases may take longer so if you’re considering submitting a complaint through the FOS, it’s best to supply them with as much information as possible, and ensure that you keep in touch with them if you’d like to know how far your complaint has progressed.
The FOS are a useful body in disputes between businesses and consumers when it can’t be resolved elsewhere and hopefully this guide has given you an insight into just what they can do to help you in the future.