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our plans and budget for 2011/2012 - a consultation paper

about this document

Each year the Financial Ombudsman Service consults our stakeholders on our plans and budget for the coming year. This consultation is vitally important for us. As a "demand led" service, funded by the financial services industry, we need to ensure we use the insight of our stakeholders to help us focus on what matters.

In preparation for this consultation we have already spoken with key trade associations, industry practitioners and consumer groups about the themes and plans in this document. And we will continue to talk to our stakeholders before we finalise our budget for 2011/2012 in March 2011.

This consultation document explains our plans for the 2011/2012 financial year against the background of what has happened so far in the current financial year (2010/2011). We look forward to hearing your feedback on what we are doing and how we are planning to make ourselves as effective as possible, going forward.

Natalie Ceeney CBE
chief ombudsman and chief executive

January 2011


We welcome your feedback on our plans and budget for 2011/2012. Please send your views and comments - to reach us by Monday 21 February 2011 - to Or write to:

Adrian Dally
Financial Ombudsman Service
South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
London E14 9SR

We may want to publish the responses we receive to this consultation paper. If you would like your response or name to be kept confidential, please ensure you make this clear in your response.

If you reply by email, we will take it that your consent to our publishing your response overrides any confidentiality disclaimer that your organisation's IT system may add automatically to your email - unless you specifically include a request for confidentiality in the main text of your response to us.

settling disputes, without taking sides ... sharing what we see, to help prevent future problems

The Financial Ombudsman Service was set up by law to resolve individual disputes between consumers and financial businesses - fairly, reasonably, quickly and informally.

We can look at complaints about a wide range of financial and money matters - from insurance and mortgages to investments and credit.

If a business cannot resolve a consumer's complaint, we can step in to settle the dispute. We are independent and impartial. When we decide a complaint we look carefully at both sides of the story and weigh up all the facts.

If we decide a business has treated a consumer fairly, we will explain why.
But if we decide the business has acted wrongly - and the consumer has lost out - we can order matters to be put right.

We are constantly seeking ways to improve how we can resolve cases to the highest professional standards.

Best practice in complaints handling includes learning lessons when dissatisfaction and disputes arise. We therefore have a crucial role in sharing the insights that can be gained from the complaints we see. This gives consumers greater confidence in financial services and helps businesses prevent future problems by learning from situations where things have gone wrong.

In the chapters that follow, we want our stakeholders to see:

  • what we have been doing to meet the demands on our service;
  • that we are committed to providing value for money; and
  • how we plan to improve the service we provide, going forward.