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.
Following the article in our March 2003 edition about changes to the time limits for making a complaint, in this edition we look at two contrasting cases where we had to decide whether the complaint had been made "in time" and was therefore one we could deal with. We also outline our approach when deciding whether instances of damage, claimed for under insurance policies, were caused by an "insured risk" such as flooding or by poor maintenance or neglect on the part of the policyholder.
Two of our banking case studies illustrate a situation that sometimes arises in complaints relating to credit cards. This is where a firm has justified its actions by citing credit card rules that the customer has not signed up to or even seen. Our other banking case studies include several complaints involving mortgages, and one where a customer lost out because of exchange rate fluctuations, after the firm incorrectly transferred into sterling the money he had deposited in euros.
Finally, our regular round-up of investment-related cases includes a complaint from a couple who felt the firm should not have transferred their unit trust holding into an OEIC investment, even though a majority of unitholders had voted for the change. We also outline a complaint from a lady who felt she had been mis-led when she cashed in her investment and received a cheque that was nearly £1,000 less than the surrender value the firm had quoted over the telephone.