Action plan launched to deliver a better service for customers in a rapidly changing financial services environment.

The Financial Ombudsman Service has published today (2nd December) an action plan approved by the Board to change and improve the organisation to provide the best service for our customers. It is being published in response to an independent Periodic Review commissioned by the Board, also published today. 

The action plan, which builds on significant progress already underway, sets out how we will change and improve, how we will deliver for all our customers and provide fair and reasonable financial dispute resolution more quickly. 

The action plan focuses on five key themes:

  • A new operating model to meet a changing environment, making it more effective and efficient to resolve cases more quickly.
  • Enhancing technology and digital capabilities, to drive productivity and to make it easier and more efficient for customers to choose how they interact with the Financial Ombudsman Service.
  • Boosting engagement with our stakeholders and taking a robust and proactive approach to prevent complaints and unfairness arising to ensure that we solve problems together efficiently.
  • Developing the current strategy to further enhance the Financial Ombudsman Service, using insights from timely case handling to prevent further harm to consumers.
  • Exploring revisions to our funding model to ensure a sustainable future. 

Financial Ombudsman Service, Chairman, Baroness Zahida Manzoor, CBE said:

The Board commissioned this independent review to get an impartial perspective on current and future challenges. With a continuing commitment to impartiality and fairness as our foundation principles, we are now entering a new phase for our organisation.

As we move forward, we value our strong working relationships with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the wider regulatory family and look forward in partnership to preventing and addressing detriment to our customers. This action plan will help the Financial Ombudsman Service to play its part.

Financial Ombudsman Service, interim Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman, Nausicaa Delfas said:

The Financial Ombudsman Service is at a pivotal point. The action plan is our commitment to continue to make the changes we need to resolve customer complaints more quickly.

We will be changing our operating model, leveraging technology, and ensuring we share our insights to prevent complaints from arising in the first place. This builds on the work we have already done to almost halve our backlog so far this year. 

This review has given us the opportunity to reset and move forward, and we are determined to seize it.

Notes to editors

About the Financial Ombudsman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service was set up by Parliament to resolve individual complaints between financial businesses and their customers on a fair and reasonable basis, as an alternative to the courts. It can investigate problems involving most types of money matters. It is committed to working with the sector to help prevent consumer harm arising in the first place.

The Financial Ombudsman’s action plan is published on our website.

Oaklin Consulting were appointed to conduct the independent Periodic Review commissioned by our Board. The independent Periodic Review looked at how the Financial Ombudsman can continue to meet the needs of consumers and financial businesses, and how it should adapt to changing demand and emerging issues. The report sets out 22 recommendations for improvement, which the Financial Ombudsman Service Board has accepted in principle.

The review is published on our website.

To find out more about the Financial Ombudsman Service, read our most recent Annual Report and Accounts.

Contact details for our press office can be found in our media centre.

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