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ombudsman news

issue 46

May/June 2005

ask ombudsman news

review of mortgage endowment complaints the manager of a consumer advice bureau writes ...

We have a client whose complaint about his mortgage endowment policy was rejected both by the firm concerned – Abbey – and by yourselves. He has been to see us this week to say he heard in the news that these complaints are now to be looked at again. Is this true-

Abbey recently agreed with the regulator – the Financial Services Authority (FSA) – that it would review the decisions it made on a large number of mortgage endowment complaints that it had previously rejected. However, this does not include complaints that have already been referred to – and rejected by – the ombudsman service. For more information look on the FSA’s website ( or visit the news page on our website.

on-line payment problems a community advice worker writes ...

My client recently bought a camera though an internet auction site, using their on-line payment system. She used her credit card to put money into her account with the payment system – so that the money could then be transferred to the seller’s account with the payment system. But although the money was taken from her account with the payment system, the camera never arrived. She wants her money back, but no-one seems to want to help. Who should she be claiming against – the payment system, or her credit card company-

Probably the on-line payment system rather than the credit card company. Sometimes, customers of on-line payments systems can benefit from "buyer protection" if things go wrong. But it’s less likely your client will have a valid complaint against the credit card company, because she didn’t pay for the camera directly with the credit card.

In other words, there was no ‘debtor-credit-supplier’ agreement under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, so there’s no real basis for her to make a claim against the credit card company.

working at the ombudsman service

I am interested in working for the Financial Ombudsman Service. How can I find out what type of jobs there are, and the sort of qualities you look for when recruiting staff-

A good starting point is the careers page on this website. These list our current vacancies and, for each role – give information about the type of experience and personal competencies we are looking for. We also give details of our flexible benefits package. As you might expect, the Financial Ombudsman Service employs staff in a wide range of roles – including IT specialists, front-line customer consultants and administrators. Generally speaking, however, most of our vacancies are for adjudicators. When recruiting adjudicators we look for talented people with financial services, complaints-handling, compliance or legal experience/qualifications. Equally important, they must be able to remain unbiased, keep an open mind, and exercise sound judgement. Adjudicators we have recruited include former IFAs and trading standards officers, accountants, solicitors and people from banking and insurance backgrounds. We recognise the importance of training and development. As well as providing a tailored induction programme and on-the-job instruction and mentoring, we offer employees the opportunity to take in-house and external training courses, and to study for relevant exams – as part of our commitment to the continuing professional development of our staff.

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman

ombudsman news issue 46 [PDF format]

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.