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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

when the case fee is payable

at what stage do I have to pay the case fee?

When we receive a completed complaint form from a consumer, staff in our front-line consumer helpline will check the form and any paperwork we receive with it.

At this initial stage, based on the business's final response to the consumer and on what the complaint seems to be about, we may decide the complaint:

  • is not something we deal with or
  • involves a problem that can be nipped in the bud straight away, without escalating the matter further.

Only around one in five of all the initial complaints and enquiries we receive go on to require more detailed work by our case-handling staff or ombudsmen. And it is only at that stage that a case becomes "chargeable".

We don't charge a business for the first 25 cases we deal with during the year. For the 26th and each subsequent complaint, we charge a case fee of £550.

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 factsheet:

a quick guide to ... funding and case fees