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ombudsman news

issue 61

April/May 2007

ask ombudsman news

consumer credit query

My business has a consumer-credit licence and I'm aware there have been changes that affect the way we now have to handle any complaints about the loans and finance we arrange. However, I'm not as clear as I probably should be about what this means in practical terms. Can you please let me know how I can find out more about this-

a motor retailer

These changes have come about as a result of new legislation - the Consumer Credit Act 2006. From 6 April 2007 all businesses that hold a standard consumer credit licence (issued by the Office of Fair Trading) must, by law, comply with new complaints-handling requirements.

So businesses such as yours must ensure you follow proper procedures when dealing with complaints about your consumer credit activities. And your customers have the right to refer unresolved disputes about those activities to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Our comprehensive website offers a wealth of information, including a special section about consumer credit complaints. This gives the answers to a number of the more commonly-asked questions that consumer-credit businesses ask about the Financial Ombudsman Service. It covers a range of topics including:

  • the procedures that consumer-credit businesses must follow when dealing with customers' complaints
  • the way in which the ombudsman service operates
  • the services and help that the ombudsman service offers to the businesses it covers and
  • where you can get more detailed information.

All businesses covered by the ombudsman are also welcome to contact our technical advice desk for informal help or guidance. The technical advice desk can help by:

  • providing general guidance on how the ombudsman might view casework issues
  • helping you find the information you need about the ombudsman service
  • explaining how the ombudsman service works
  • helping with technical queries.

You can contact our technical advice desk on 020 7964 1400 - or email

ombudsman consumer leaflet

Can you please tell me how I can get copies of the consumer leaflet, which I understand I need to send my customers if they have a complaint involving the consumer credit side of my business-

a furniture retailer

If you need supplies of our consumer leaflet, you can order them from us online.

We recently revised this leaflet to reflect the fact that - since 6 April 2007 - we cover businesses that have a consumer credit licence. Financial firms whose activities we already covered before 6 April 2007 may use up their existing supplies before ordering copies of the new version. For more information about ordering supplies of our leaflet, visit the publications section.

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ombudsman news issue 61 [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.