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our plans and budget

financial ombudsman consults on plans and budget for the year ahead

6 January 2015

consultation opens on ombudsman's our plans and budget for 2015/2016

The Financial Ombudsman Service today publishes its proposed plans and budget for the next financial year (2015/2016) for public consultation - together with an update on numbers for the current financial year (2014/2015).

The plans and budget set out how next year (2015/2016) the ombudsman is planning to:

  • answer 1.4 million front-line consumer enquiries;
  • resolve a further 250,000 disputes involving mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) - reducing the number of existing PPI cases from around 280,000 to 180,000;
  • tackle 88,000 banking complaints, 33,000 insurance cases and 17,000 investment complaints; and
  • recruit an additional 200 adjudicators and ombudsmen.

The proposals to manage and fund this workload include:

  • lowering the total cost of the ombudsman to the financial services sector by 13% - with a reduced operating income of £220.7m;
  • freezing the case fee paid by businesses at £550 - payable only after the 25th case - which means 99% of businesses will continue to pay no case fee at all; and
  • continuing the group-account charging arrangement for the eight largest businesses that generate the most complaints, resulting in three-quarters of our expected workload being funded on this more financially stable basis.

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman, said:

Over the last few years the ombudsman's workload has increased substantially - and the volatility of complaint levels remains a significant challenge when planning for the future. But we're finally seeing evidence that the number of complaints referred to us by consumers is starting to stabilise.

On the other hand, complaints about PPI are still the main driver of financial disputes. And although numbers are slowly declining, it will be years before we can truly say this mis-selling scandal is over. Our plans take into account the increasingly hard-fought and complex nature of the cases we are seeing - not only in PPI but also in areas like mortgages and pensions.

No two financial complaints are alike. So from payday loans to pension drawdowns, our principal focus this year continues to be on placing fairness at the heart of what we do. Giving people honest, thoughtful answers that help them better understand and make sense of things that have gone wrong.

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