Our service can be used by a wide range of people, but sometimes we might not be able to help.
Customers we can help
We can help a range of people with their complaints about financial products or services. Official rules set out the full detail of who we can and can't help, but broadly we can look at complaints from:
- an individual customer – or joint customers – of a financial business that provided service or products in the UK. Customers can ask someone else to help bring a complaint to us, eg family member, a friend, Citizen Advice, local MP, solicitors or a claims company. If you’re complaining on behalf of someone who’s died, we might ask to see a copy of the will and the grant of probate.
- individuals who act as personal guarantors for loans to businesses they’re involved in
- a ‘micro-enterprise’ (a type of small business) with an annual turnover or balance sheet that does not exceed €2 million and fewer than ten employees
- a charity with an annual income of less than £6.5 million
- a trust that has a net asset value of less than £5 million
- a small or medium-sized enterprise (SME) with an annual turnover of no more than £6.5 million and fewer than 50 employees – see our dedicated site for SMEs
Can I make a complaint?
Find out if the Financial Ombudsman Service can help with your complaint by answering a few questions on our complaint checker.
Generally, we can help with complaints about businesses that provide retail financial products and services in or from the UK. It doesn’t matter what your nationality is or where you live.
For complaints about businesses based outside the UK, you may be able to get help from an equivalent complaints-handling body. If you want to make a complaint about a financial service provider in another EEA country, get in touch with us and we can direct your complaint to the right organisation.
Alternatively, contact FIN-NET, the Europe-wide network of financial ombudsmen and organisations dealing with financial complaints. You might find it helpful to watch their video, which explains what they do and how they can help.
Complaints we can’t help with
As well as time limits and some cross-border complaints, there may be other reasons why we can’t help with a complaint. For example, we won’t usually look into a problem that’s been decided by a court, or one that we’ve looked at already. We publish some sample case studies (PDF 135KB) that give further examples.
Sometimes we can’t help because your complaint should be dealt with by a different organisation or service. For example, we can look at complaints about mobile phone insurance policies – but complaints about mobile phone contracts should be dealt with by the communications ombudsman.
You can find more information about complaints we can’t help with on our website.