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ombudsman news

issue 27

April 2003

ask ombudsman news - your questions answered

can you give me any tips and advice on saving and investing-

No. Our job is to settle disputes between individual consumers and financial firms, where consumers think they have lost out.

The industry regulator, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), can help with general information about financial products and services. Look at the consumer help pages on FSA's website (www.fsa.gov.uk). The FSA also has a consumer helpline (0845 606 1234) for enquiries from consumers about personal finance and financial services in general, although it cannot give individual financial advice.

We list the websites of other organisations that give general information about consumer finance on the "useful links" page of this website.

mortgage mis-selling - when does firm's liability end-

One of my advice centre clients has a problem with a mis-sold mortgage endowment policy. He complained to the firm that sold the policy and it has agreed to pay him redress. However, this only runs up to the point where he switched his mortgage to another lender. The firm says its liability stops at that point. Is this right-

The firm that sold the policy is responsible for the consequences of that sale, including that part of the mortgage to which the policy relates, even if the customer subsequently moves the mortgage to another lender. The firm should therefore have calculated redress up to the current date.

In addition, in accordance with the FSA's guidance on mortgage endowment complaints, the firm must calculate the amount of capital that the customer would have repaid after switching the mortgage, using the new lender's interest rates and method of interest calculation, not its own.

what's the latest on the voluntary jurisdiction-

I'm a mortgage broker and I think I remember the ombudsman service consulting on opening up its voluntary jurisdiction to cover mortgage advice. What's happened about this-

Yes, we consulted last year on extending the scope in our voluntary jurisdiction. This included proposals to invite mortgage brokers (and insurance intermediaries) to join the ombudsman service before they are covered by us automatically (when statutory regulation by the FSA begins - in late 2004 for mortgage brokers and early 2005 for insurance intermediaries).

See "new powers for the ombudsman service" for more information about our voluntary jurisdiction and how to join.

sue slipman, chair of Financial Ombudsman Service

Sue Slipman, newly-appointed chair of the Financial Ombudsman Service, shares her first impressions of the ombudsman service.

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.