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ombudsman news

issue 16

May 2002

about this issue of ombudsman news

There has been extensive coverage in the press recently about split capital investment trusts ("splits") and the Financial Services Authority issued an update on this subject on 16 May 2002, outlining areas it is considering further. To date we have received few complaints about these complex products, but we believe they could impact on our work over the coming months.

As we note in our article on split capital investment trusts, although aspects of these investments do not fall within our jurisdiction, there should certainly be areas where we will be able to help investors, particularly if they were not properly informed about the degree of risk involved.

In this issue of ombudsman news we also provide updates on:

  • whether consumers can claim reimbursement for the cost of employing third parties, such as legal advisers or complaint-handling firms, to help them with their complaints;
  • changes to the time limit for cases that would formerly have been dealt with by the PIA Ombudsman Bureau, following a House of Lords' decision; and
  • the revised memorandum of understanding established between the Pensions Ombudsman and ourselves.

Finally, as well as providing a general round-up of some of the investment cases we have dealt with in recent months, we focus on the types of complaint dealt with by the caseworkers in our assessment team. We explain how, by cooperating fully with these caseworkers, firms can help us bring a significant number of complaints to a speedy conclusion.

As always, we very much welcome feedback from our readers. Do please let us have your comments and any suggestions for
future issues.

Jane Whittles
principal ombudsman
investment division

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman

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.