skip tocontent

ombudsman news

issue 29

July 2003

ask ombudsman news - your questions answered

will my firm be covered by the ombudsman scheme when we become FSA-regulated-

My firm is engaged in mortgage broking. Am I right in thinking we will eventually be covered by the ombudsman service after we become regulated by the Financial Services Authority- If so, how will this affect us- I can't recall receiving any complaints in the time I've worked here. Will we have to make any special arrangements if we get any in future-

Mortgage intermediaries will become regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) from October 2004 (and insurance intermediaries from January 2005). They will then join what is known as our "compulsory jurisdiction" and be covered by our scheme - for all mortgage and general insurance complaints.

But we have already opened our doors to mortgage and insurance intermediaries who want to join us on a voluntary basis. Firms that take the opportunity to join us at this stage gain valuable experience in what being in an ombudsman scheme entails. They will face less change when they become fully regulated. And their customers have the confidence of knowing they have access to the ombudsman service, should the need arise.

If you check out our website you will find what's involved in joining the ombudsman service voluntarily.

And whether you'd like to consider joining voluntarily - or you simply want to know what will be involved when you join us on a compulsory basis, you'll be very welcome to attend one of our free forthcoming events for mortgage and insurance intermediaries.

statistically speaking

I always find ombudsman news helpful. In particular it shows firms how cases should be handled. But you don't seem to publish any statistics. How can I find out about the numbers of different types of complaints you deal with-

You will find these statistics in our annual review, in the chapter, key facts and figures. The latest annual review covers the financial year from April 2002 to March 2003 and is available on our website.

We also publish a range of statistics in our annual plan and budget, published each January and also available in the "annual reviews and budgets" section on this website.

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.