This privacy notice sets out how you can expect us to use your personal information when you use our service to make a complaint about a financial business.
Financial Ombudsman Service
Exchange Tower, London, E14 9SR
0300 123 9 123 or 0800 023 4 567
Why we process your personal information
Personal information means information that is about you – for example, your name, date of birth, financial details and phone conversations with us. With your consent, we process (eg collect, record, share) your personal information to help resolve your complaint including special category data such as information about your health where it’s relevant to your case. We may contact you for feedback to help improve our service – but only if you give your consent. We may also use information about your case to spot any wider issues or trends in the complaints that we receive and to review and improve the effectiveness of our service. For example, we may review a group of similar complaints to check whether a product has been sold unfairly to consumers on a wide scale and what the cause might be. We’ll only do this where we consider that there is a legitimate interest.
Who we share your personal information with
We may share or check your information with the business your complaint is about and occasionally others – for example, another business or individual that was involved in your complaint (e.g. a broker, underwriter, lender or joint complainant) or a credit referencing agency.
Where we can, we keep your personal information within the European Economic Area. If that’s not possible, we take appropriate steps to safeguard your information.
If you have a complaint about the service we’ve provided to you, and we’ve not been able to resolve this, you can ask the Independent Assessor to investigate your complaint about our service. We will pass on relevant details to the Independent Assessor so that they can investigate and respond to your service complaint.
How long we keep your personal information
We keep your personal information only for as long as we need to. This includes things like:
- We will keep your case file for 6 years after your case closes (or 3 years if we did not go on to fully investigate your case).
- We keep ombudsman decisions permanently.
- If you ask the Independent Assessor to look into a complaint about our service, the Independent Assessor’s office will keep their case file for 6 years, (or 3 years if your complaint is not one that can be addressed by the Independent Assessor).
You have a right to withdraw your consent to us processing your personal information at any time. You can also ask us to delete your personal information or to restrict or object to the way we use it.
This may mean we won’t be able to look into your complaint. We might also need to keep some personal information – for example, to avoid duplicate complaints or to comply with the law.
You have a right to receive any personal information you have given to us in an easy to use way – and to have it sent to another organisation. You can also ask us for a copy of your personal information and to correct it.
What to do if you’re unhappy with how we’ve handled your personal information
Please first let the person looking after your complaint (or their manager) know so they can look into your concerns.
You can also contact our data protection officer at: [email protected].