Our rules and powers, and other information about us

The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 and entered into a transition period. The transition period ended at 11pm on 31 December 2020. 

Businesses and consumers in the financial services sector should continue to follow guidance from HM Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority. More information can be found via the links below.

If you’re a UK customer of a UK firm, you will continue to have the same access to the Financial Ombudsman Service. 

However, if you’re a UK customer of a European Economic Area (EEA) financial business that’s operating in the UK under the temporary permissions regime (TPR), or under the financial services contracts regime (FSCR), your protections may be different. 

In general, if a firm is in the TPR, or the supervised run-off (SRO) part of the FSCR, and does not resolve your complaint, you will be able to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service, whether or not the firm has a branch in the UK. 

Below we provide more detail about the expected position in relation to a range of situations:

I’ve already brought my complaint to you; will you still be able to look at it?

We do not anticipate any change to how the Financial Ombudsman Service handles complaints that have already been referred to our service. We will be able to continue looking at your complaint as we were before.

I haven’t made a complaint yet, but the financial business I want to complain about is established in the EU. Can I complain about something that happened before Brexit, after Brexit?

Yes, if we were able to look at a complaint before Brexit, we will still be able to look at it afterwards, even if the business is established in the EU. Depending on the circumstances, enforcement of decisions through the courts (if necessary) may be more difficult. Some EU businesses were not in our jurisdiction before Brexit though, so you may need to check.

I’m a customer of a company established in the EU, will I be able to complain about something that happens after Brexit?

This will depend on the circumstances. If the business is operating in the UK, it should have joined the FCA’s temporary permissions regime (TPR) or be part of the financial services contracts regime (FSCR). If it has joined the TPR, then customers will be able to refer complaints to us.

Businesses in the FSCR that were previously in our jurisdiction should remain in our jurisdiction, but if we couldn’t look at complaints about these businesses before Brexit, then we will not be able to do so now. More information about the financial services contracts regime (FSCR) – and specific information for consumers about dealing with financial businesses in the EEA – is available on the FCA's website. 

If you’re unsure whether you can bring a complaint to the ombudsman service, you can ask the financial business involved – or get in touch with us.

What if I’m a customer thinking about taking out a product or service from an EU company after Brexit?

If an EU firm is doing business in the UK, then it will need to be part of the FCA’s temporary permissions regime (TPR). Customers will be able to refer their complaints to us where it relates to something the business did or didn’t do after Brexit. There is more information about the TPR – and specific information for consumers about dealing with financial businesses in the EEA available on the FCA's website. 

What about protection from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme?

The Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) has provided information on their website about what the UK's withdrawal from the EU means for FSCS protection.  

Further information

Updates on Brexit and the end of the EU withdrawal transition period can be found on the FCA's website.

These updates include information for consumers and small businesses on how Brexit may have affected financial product and services and considerations for firms after the transition period.

More details are also available from HM Treasury.