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preventing modern slavery and trafficking

25 July 2018

The Modern Slavery Act requires organisations over a certain size to report yearly on what they’ve done to ensure they help prevent acts of modern slavery and trafficking from occurring within their business or supply chains.

Today we've renewed our annual statement setting out what we’re doing to help prevent modern slavery and trafficking, not just because it’s the law, but because our commitment to fairness and doing the right thing is at the heart of our values.

independent review

12 July 2018

Earlier this year our non-executive board commissioned an independent review of our service to look at where we might be able to do things better. A respected consumer rights champion, Richard Lloyd, was asked to carry out the review. In the months since his appointment, he has spent time talking to our people, our customers and our stakeholders, and he has shared his findings and recommendations with our service in a report.

Chief ombudsman and chief executive Caroline Wayman has welcomed the report, saying: “We’re grateful to Richard Lloyd for conducting such a thorough review. We’ll be considering carefully what it means for our service, keen to learn from the past so we can do things even better in the future. We will publish an update on our progress by the end of the year."

a warning about scammers…

27 June 2018

We’ve heard that a number of people have recently received calls from scammers claiming to be from the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The Financial Ombudsman Service doesn't write to or phone people out of the blue to ask for personal information or to ask for money. We would only contact you if you've been in touch with us to register a complaint – and then we would only speak to you about that complaint. We're a free service so we will never ask you for money and we don't pay compensation to you directly.

If you have received a call from us that seems suspicious and you’d like to check if it’s genuine, please phone us directly on 0800 023 4567 and we’ll be happy to help.

For more information on reporting fraud and what to do if you’ve been a victim of a fraud or scam, take a look at Action Fraud’s website.

our annual review 2017/2018

30 May 2018

Today sees the publication of our annual review, which reflects the achievements of our service in 2017/2018. Using case studies and insight, we’ve drawn out three themes we’ve seen in the problems people have brought to us: vulnerability; new ideas, new challenges; and loyalty & trust. We hope these themes spark conversations across the sector, as well as with each other.

We’ve also highlighted how, nearly 20 years after conversations began about setting up one ombudsman, we’ve been ensuring we’re ready for the future. It’s been a challenging year and our annual review reflects on the changes we’ve been through – while keeping fairness, and the people who are relying on our answers, at the heart of everything we do.

have you been affected by the problems at TSB?

25 May 2018

We’ve been getting lots of questions about the recent computer troubles at TSB.

People are asking us:

  • how do they get problems sorted?
  • how can they put in a claim?
  • how can the ombudsman help?
  • I think I have been a victim of fraud or a scam - can you help?

TSB has pledged to help their customers who were affected by the computer problems. But if you’re unhappy with how they deal with your problem, contact us at the Financial Ombudsman Service. We can usually get involved 15 days after you’ve raised your concerns with the bank – and sometimes even sooner. We’ve put together a factsheet that answers some of the questions we’re getting and explains how the ombudsman can help.

We’ve heard that some people have reported fraud on their accounts as a direct result of the IT problems. In addition, fraudsters may pose as the bank, offering help to sort things out, but in reality trying to gain access to customers’ accounts. We can help by looking at how a financial business has acted following the fraud or scam, and if we decide they've done something wrong, we'll consider how they should put things right. But how these scams happened and what happens to the people who carry them out is a matter for the police and other authorities to investigate. We recommend contacting the bank as soon as possible, if you’re worried this has happened to you. To see what TSB is saying to its customers about fraud and scams, you can look at information on their website.

ombudsman news 144 - paying the price?

24 April 2018

Today we've published our latest issue of ombudsman news - focussing on complaints about the price of insurance policies. We answer some common questions, and explore when we think the price of a policy becomes a matter of fairness.

We also highlight some of the problems we've seen when people use credit to buy solar panels for their houses, or to pay for membership of holiday clubs.

Finally, we answer a question from a business about a buildings insurance claim involving gradual damage, and point them towards some resources they might find helpful.

our plans for 2018/19

28 March 2018

Today we’ve published our plans for the financial year 2018/2019, following formal consultation with our stakeholders. Our plans set out how many people we think will come to us for help and what we need to do, to give them the fair, rigorous, consistent answers they need. Our expectations for the year ahead include:

  • receiving 380,000 new complaints – including 220,000 complaints about PPI
  • resolving 410,000 complaints – including 250,000 about PPI
  • freezing case fee at £550 for the sixth year, with no fee chargeable for each business’s first 25 complaints
  • freezing the levy at £24.5 million

Besides PPI, a wide range of issues and trends could influence the problems we’re called on to resolve – from new regulations to emerging technologies, and from changing patterns of borrowing to evolving financial fraud. In a fast changing landscape we must respond quickly and flexibly to demands for our help. So we’re investing in digital infrastructure, such as a new online portal where consumers can submit details of their complaint about a financial business, and preparing for potential changes to our remit, such as being able to help more SMEs.

More detail is in our plans for the year ahead 2018/19.

ombudsman publishes latest complaints data on individual financial businesses

27 March 2018

The Financial Ombudsman Service has published its latest six-monthly complaints data on individual business and groups today. The data features complaint numbers about banks, insurance companies and other financial businesses received by the ombudsman service between 1 July – 31 December 2017. 

  • 219 businesses feature in the complaints data - down by 11% when compared to the first six months of 2017 ( H1 2017).
  • We received a total of 165,406 new complaints - a decrease of 3% when compared to H1 2017 (170,083).
  • Of this figure, 92,231 were about PPI - an increase of 3% when compared to H1 2017 (89,513).
  • Consumer credit complaints continued to increase - up 11% to 16,328 when compared to H1 2017 (14,752).

Look at the complaints data now available on individual financial businesses.

Channel 4 Dispatches

12 March 2018

The Dispatches programme on the work of the Financial Ombudsman Service gives an unfair impression of us. Our role is to investigate disputes between financial businesses and their customers – making impartial decisions based on what’s fair and reasonable in each individual case.

Every day we make difficult judgement calls that affect people’s lives. Our people are committed to doing the right thing – and we’re determined to provide a fair and trustworthy service for our customers and the best support for our staff.

Of course, it’s always important to know where improvements can be made. A review, overseen by the non-executive board, of the concerns raised in the programme will be undertaken.

If you’re a customer and you are concerned about a case with us, please get in touch and we’ll look into it. You can contact your case handler directly or call us on 0300 123 9 123. Our opening hours are listed here.

planning a holiday? Look before you book…

31 January 2018

Each year people contact us when they’ve had trouble on holiday – and haven’t had the help from their travel insurer that they expected. And most of the time, these disputes centre on what’s covered by their policy and what’s not.

Our latest selection of ombudsman news case studies highlights a range of issues involving travel insurance – from winter sports accidents to cancellation claims. We share our experience to help holidaymakers prevent problems arising, and to help insurers resolve complaints fairly.

We also answer a question we’ve received from a business about what the revised Payment Services Directive means for handling complaints. And we give our regular snapshot of the things people have complained to us the most about – this time for the third quarter of 2017/2018.

a warning about scammers

19 January 2018

We’ve heard that a number of people have recently received letters from scammers claiming to be from the Financial Ombudsman Service. The letter suggests that a refund is due for bank charges. This is followed by a letter claiming to be from HMRC confirming a refund of tax is due – this is part of the same scam. We have been in contact with HMRC about this.

Please do not respond to these letters. The Financial Ombudsman Service doesn't write to or phone people out of the blue to ask for personal information, or to suggest that a refund it due. We would only contact you if you've been in touch with us to register a complaint – and then we would only speak to you about that complaint. We're a free service so we will never ask you for money and we don't pay compensation to you directly.
If you have received a letter from us that seems suspicious and you’d like to check if it’s genuine, please phone us directly on 0300 123 9 123 and we’ll be happy to help.

For more information on what to look out for if you think someone is pretending to be fake Financial Ombudsman Service, head to Action Fraud’s website here.


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ombudsman news

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