Caroline Nugent, Director of Human Resources at the Financial Ombudsman Service, shares some of the ways we're living out our values of fairness and sustainability by partnering with organisations in support of the vital work they do.
Fairness is the foundation of our long-held values... Making a positive difference is a reason people enjoy working with us.
Putting things right is what we do at the Financial Ombudsman Service.
We're best known for investigating customer complaints about financial businesses and we resolved 247,916 cases in 2020/21.
But working with our charity partners to support vulnerable people across our wider society is another way we want to help put things right.
One of the priorities in 2025 strategy is to work collaboratively with others to find new and better ways to achieve fairer outcomes for customers. This applies to our casework and our policy to grow sustainably in a way that positively contributes to improving our social impact. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we've managed to continue to show our commitment to this mission – here are a few examples.
Donating devices to help defeat digital poverty
A recent Ofcom survey found that during the pandemic, 1 in 5 school children did not have consistent access to a suitable device for their online home learning.
Like many organisations, the Financial Ombudsman Service has been making plans for more remote working in recent years. As a result, we had over 900 desktop computers and 150 printers we didn't need anymore during the pandemic. To put them to good use, we partnered with Business2Schools. This charity helps organisations donate unused IT equipment ethically to reach the schools and pupils most in need.
A small team of our people made sure the computers were usable and ready to donate. They securely removed all company data from devices and reinstalled Microsoft Windows onto each computer. This step saved time for Business2Schools and meant they could allocate the equipment quickly to children who needed them. It also gave the computers a new lease of life, avoiding being recycled and melted down for parts, or ending up in a landfill site.
Raising funds for our charity partner
'Giving Something Back' (GSB) is another of our key initiatives where we partner and support charities. Our employee-led GSB committee champions and coordinates this work to find out how we can best support partner organisations.
Over the last couple of years, our staff voted to support and raise funds for Papyrus, a suicide-prevention charity for young people. Since partnering with Papyrus, our staff have raised over £30,000 through a variety of activities.
The effect of the pandemic on charities' limited ability to fundraise as usual increased our desire to help even more. So 27 of our people recently agreed to parachute for Papyrus, taking part in skydives for the charity during weekends in July 2021, raising £18,000 – and counting.
Contributing to a fairer financial world
Fairness is the foundation of our long-held values. Helping people through these initiatives is a natural extension of what we do in our case work where we resolve thousands of complaints and help to make financial services fairer.
Supporting these wider activities also has a benefit for us as an organisation. They give us a wider insight into the environment and the society we serve, which helps us provide a fairer service.
Making a positive difference is a reason people enjoy working with us. Giving something back is another way our people can help to put things right while developing new skills and contributing to the community and environment around us.
Find out more
Our staff tell us that they're proud of the work they do, helping to put things right. What we do makes a positive difference every day.
Read more about our aims and values, such as our commitments to our customers and our social responsibility and sustainability policy.