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ombudsman news

issue 48

August 2005

ask ombudsman news

training events for consumer advisers the manager of a citizens advice bureau writes ...

My staff occasionally see clients who have complaints about the way they have been treated by financial firms. We want to ensure that we give these clients accurate advice and that we don’t waste anyone’s time by referring cases to you that properly belong elsewhere. Could you tell me about any training events that you are planning for consumer advisers-

This year we are running a series of special events all around the UK for professional consumer advisers (for example, trading standards officers, money advisers and citizens advice workers). These free events, focusing on how the ombudsman service works, also provide ample opportunity for informal debate and discussion. Currently we have events planned in the North West (29 September), Northern Ireland (30 September), the South East (9 November 2005), North East (18 November 2005) and Yorkshire/Humberside (9 February 2006).

wider implications a legal firm asks ...

How do the ombudsman service and the FSA liaise on cases that have wider implications-

Together with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), we have specific arrangements in place for dealing with cases with wider implications. A joint website sets out the procedures for invoking the wider implications process.

The website also:

  • clarifies the different roles and responsibilities of the two organisations when wider implications issues arise; and
  • sets out the practical arrangements for co-operation between us and the FSA on these types of cases.

treating customers fairly- the manager of a legal advice centre emails ...

How are ombudsman service decisions affected by the FSA’s treating customers fairly programme-

The ombudsman service decides, in the circumstances of a particular complaint, whether an individual customer has been treated fairly – taking into account the law, the FSA’s rules and good industry practice.

The FSA's treating customers fairly programme encourages a firm's senior management to create systems that support fair treatment of all customers, but it does not impose any new rules. So treating customers fairly should improve the way that financial firms treat their customers, but does not affect how we decide individual complaints.

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman

ombudsman news issue 48 [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.