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information for businesses covered by the ombudsman service

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

our funding

paying if a consumer loses

why should I pay a case fee if a consumer complains about me to the ombudsman - and loses?

Our rules (set out in the FCA's Handbook) say that if we consider a complaint against a business, the case becomes chargeable whatever the outcome.

In fact, less than 1% of businesses we cover actually pay case fees. For businesses that have 26 or more complaints a year referred to the ombudsman service, the cost involved - £550 per case, after the 25th complaint - is likely to be much less than the legal costs that might otherwise be involved in defending a complaint in court, where the publicity could be far more damaging to the business's bottom line.

From April 2012 to April 2014, we also charged a supplementary case fee of £350 for the 26th (and each subsequent) payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling case.

In April 2013, we introduced a group-charging account for the largest financial services groups. Around three quarters of our workload is now paid for on this more financially stable basis - by the businesses whose customers use us most.

For more details, see our special factsheet:

a quick guide to ... funding and case fees