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voluntary jurisdiction

before applying to join our voluntary jurisdiction

Before you formally apply to join our voluntary jurisdiction, you should look carefully at the rules and requirements that businesses in the voluntary jurisdiction have to follow. These rules and requirements will apply to your business, if you decide to go ahead with your application.

At this stage, we suggest that you look at the following sources of information, to get an insight into how the ombudsman service works.

working together with the ombudsman

This guide for businesses explains the role of the ombudsman service, setting out:

  • how businesses should handle complaints themselves before the ombudsman gets involved
  • the different stages in the ombudsman process
  • practical details about providing information to the ombudsman, dealing with confidentiality issues, complying with decisions etc.

case studies which show our approach to resolving disputes

Our regular publication ombudsman news contains case studies and commentary on the different types of complaints we handle.

the support services we offer businesses

our services for businesses include:

our funding arrangements

You will need to consider the costs involved in joining our voluntary jurisdiction. Our plan & budget published in January each year sets out (in appendix D) the general levy tariff and case fees that apply to businesses in our voluntary jurisdiction.

the rules governing the Financial Ombudsman Service ...

These rules, made under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, are published as part of the Financial Conduct Authority's Handbook – in the section called Dispute resolution: complaints.

... and, in particular:

  • rule DISP 3.6.1R and rule DISP 3.6.4R
    These rules sets out the basis on which the ombudsman decides complaints:

The Ombudsman will determine a complaint by reference to what is, in his opinion, fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case.

In considering what is fair and reasonable in all the circumstances of the case, the Ombudsman will take into account: relevant law and regulations; relevant regulators' rules, guidance and standards; relevant codes of practice, and (where appropriate) what he considers to have been good industry practice at the relevant time.

  • rule DISP 2.5.5R
    This rule says that the ombudsman can consider complaints made after you joined but which relate to an act or omission that occurred before you signed up to our voluntary jurisdiction.

If you would like more information about any of these topics, please contact our technical advice desk.

If you are satisfied that you now understand what the ombudsman service would mean for your businesses – and you would like to go ahead and apply to join our voluntary jurisdiction – you will need to complete a set of formal documents for us.