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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

how the ombudsman service reaches decisions

how can I be sure you take both sides of the story into account when reaching decisions?

if you disagree with our initial findings

what can I do if I don't agree with your initial findings?


why don't you have a hearing in every case? I thought this was necessary to comply with human rights law.

our knowledge and experience

how can I be sure the person who decides my case knows and understands financial services as well as I do?

complaint outcomes

how often do you find in favour of the business rather than the consumer?

judging advice given in the past

how can you judge a complaint made today about advice given in the past?

"fair and reasonable"

why does the ombudsman use "fair and reasonable" as the basis for deciding cases, rather than the strict legal approach?


how does the ombudsman ensure consistency between decisions?

initial assessments as one-off decisions

can I rely on your initial assessment as representing the official ombudsman approach?

principles-based regulation

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