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ombudsman news

issue 115

January/February 2014

tackling the past, planning for the future

We're preparing for another year of hard work at the Ombudsman Service as we continue to tackle the PPI challenge. We've been saying for a long time that PPI isn't something we can sort out in just a few months. We've spent the last couple of years scaling up our operation and developing our service to deal with the unprecedented volumes of cases. That work is now paying off, and we're planning for another year of record activity.

Although we expect the volume of PPI complaints to decline, the numbers are still likely to be substantial and we expect to start the new financial year with at least 400,000 PPI cases on our books. So we'll still be relying heavily on people's patience, and businesses' co-operation, before we can draw a line under the PPI saga.

I am pleased to say, though, that over the next year or so the prospect of putting PPI behind us will get closer. And as it does we need to turn our attention to the changing needs of businesses and consumers.

We've already been trying out some different ways of making our services easier to use. Pointing consumers in the right direction in webchats and on social networking sites, as well as trialling new ways to register a complaint on our website. Expect more along these lines in the future.

We've also been out and about a lot more recently - talking to businesses about our approach and working with them to resolve issues before they become problems. We will be offering even more events for businesses in 2014/2015.

Many people's dealings with financial services are strained. And consumer trust in financial services is - at best - fragile. So we need to plan for continuing uncertain times ahead. But our objective remains the same - building trust by bringing clear, commonsense answers to consumer problems. Helping consumers and businesses understand where things have gone well - and not so well.

It's clear the businesses and consumers still face significant challenges in the year ahead. For our part, we are by no means out of the PPI woods yet - but I'd like to think we are heading along the right track. Have a look at our plan and budget consultation document and let us know what you think.

Tony Boorman
chief executive and chief ombudsman (interim)

image: Tony Boorman
Tony Boorman
chief executive and chief ombudsman (interim)

ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.

The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.