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information for businesses covered by the ombudsman service

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

how we decide cases

principles-based regulation

will the FSA's move towards rules that are more principles-based and outcome-focused change the impact of ombudsman decisions?

The availability of the ombudsman service to settle individual disputes between consumers and businesses is one of the key factors that enables the FSA to focus on principles-based and outcome-focused regulation.

But the impact of ombudsman decisions is unlikely to change as the FSA moves to fewer, more outcome-focused rules. This is because the vast majority of ombudsman cases turn on disputes of fact - or on the application of general legal principles that apply to all businesses. The FSA rulebook is not a complete definition of an FSA-authorised firm's legal obligations.

The "ombudsman focus" article in issue 61 of ombudsman news looks in more detail at what FSA's more principles-based approach to regulation means for FSA-regulated firms and the way they handle complaints.