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frequently-asked questions

This section answers a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:

information for researchers

about the ombudsman service

I'm a student doing a project. Can you give me some background information on ombudsmen?

You should find all the information you need on this website. To find out more about the legislation setting up the ombudsman service and our powers, please look at the official documents page on this website.

For a detailed overview of our operations, you could begin by looking at our latest annual review, published in June each year. We also publish a corporate plan & budget each January with details of our funding arrangements, business plans and efficiency benchmarks.

If you're researching a particular topic, you may find what you're looking for by using our search facility at the top of this page. Just type in the key words relating to your area of research.

who does the Financial Ombudsman Service answer to?

We answer to a board of non-executive, public interest directors. They are appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The chairman of the board is appointed by the FCA with the approval of HM Treasury.

The chairman and directors are not appointed to represent individually the interests of any particular group or sector. They are appointed to ensure the board as a whole can draw on a wide range of experience, knowledge and skills.

The board directors are not involved in considering individual complaints. Their job is to take a strategic overview and ensure the ombudsman service is properly resourced and able to carry out its functions effectively, impartially and independently – free from any control or influence by those whose disputes it resolves.

The board directors also form a number of sub-committees of the full board.

We are not a government department or agency. And we do not see ourselves as an industry watchdog or consumer champion. We meet the criteria for the recognition of ombudsman schemes, as set out by the ombudsman association. These criteria are:

  • independence of the ombudsman from those whom the ombudsman has the power to investigate;
  • effectiveness;
  • fairness; and
  • public accountability.

how can I find out about career opportunities at the ombudsman service?

Details of all our current job opportunities can be obtained by emailing

For more information about our career benefits, and our equality and diversity policy, please look at our careers page.