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financial ombudsman consults on plans and budget for the year ahead

8 December 2015

consultation opens on ombudsman's our plans and budget for 2016/2017

The Financial Ombudsman Service today publishes its proposed plans and budget for the next financial year (2016/2017) for public consultation - together with an update on numbers for the current financial year (2015/2016).

The plans and budget set out how next year (2016/2017) the ombudsman is planning to:

  • answer 1.7 million front-line consumer problems and enquiries;
  • continue to resolve a record number of complaints (270,000) involving payment protection insurance (PPI);
  • tackle 76,000 banking complaints, 30,000 insurance cases and 15,000 investment complaints - similar levels to the previous year; and
  • build on our new ways of working, so we can resolve complaints more quickly and effectively - reflecting the changing needs of the people and businesses who use our service.

The proposals to manage and fund this workload include:

  • freezing the case fee paid by businesses (only after the 25th case) at £550 for the fourth year running - which means 99% of businesses will continue to pay no case fee at all;
  • bearing down on the cost to the financial services sector of the ombudsman service, with our proposed total operating income held at £223.2m, slightly lower than our forecast for the current year; and
  • funding three-quarters of our workload through the group-account charging arrangement that covers the eight largest businesses responsible for the most complaints.

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman, said;

We’re planning for another busy year at the financial ombudsman service - as the high level of complaints we’ve seen in recent years stabilises and we make good progress resolving cases ever more quickly and effectively.

To help us do this, we’re working increasingly closely with financial businesses to continue to manage the impact of large volumes of complaints - and to plan for the inevitable volatility that can always impact the world of complaints.

I’m confident that the foundations we’ve established in recent years - through investing in our people, our systems and the way we work - will give us the flexibility, efficiency and resilience to handle the challenges that the future might hold.