What is the Financial Ombudsman Purpose?

What is the Financial Ombudsman Service? – A Beginner’s Guide

The Financial Ombudsman Service is an organisation that represents the interests of the public where they have a complaint about a Bank or a Financial Services business including but not limited to building societies, financial advisers, investment firms and insurance companies.

When a customer feels they have been mistreated, they will first complain to the company. If they’re not satisfied with the response they get, they can then take the issue to the Financial Ombudsman Service. The Financial Ombudsman Service will investigate the dispute, gathering evidence and independently assessing both sides of the case.

If the consumer accepts the decision reached by the Ombudsman, that decision is legally binding for both parties. If the complainant does not accept the Ombudsman’s final decision, they may then instead take the issue to court, but this will cost them money where using the Financial Ombudsman Service is free.

The Financial Ombudsman Service was set-up in 2000 and granted legal powers in 2001. In 2019 they began accepting complaints from small businesses as well as direct consumers. The organisation is based in Canary Wharf in London. Any Financial Services business in the UK will have a relationship with the Ombudsman and an experienced Complaints professional may have regular contact with them, with some businesses desginated a specific senior member of their Complaints team to handle all interactions with the Ombudsman. Having experience with the Ombudsman is in turn a desirable quality in a Complaints professional working in the industry, as it suggests a good knowledge of handling escalated complaints and an understanding of how to avoid situations where the Ombudsman might decide against a business.

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This blog post is part of the Kind Beginner’s Guide series. Kind Consultancy works with Governance, Risk & Compliance professionals at all levels, from Analysts to Chief Risk Officers. For entry-level GRC professionals or graduates who are thinking of setting out on a GRC career, we wanted to provide a Beginner’s Guide to some of the big titles, terms, and acronyms that are used all the time. If you’re a newcomer to Governance, Risk & Compliance space, this could be the first time you’ve heard of “SOX”, “AML” or “Conduct Risk” and we want to give you the information you need to quickly understand these concepts.

If you’re just setting out on your Governance, Risk & Compliance career journey, we’d also recommend our Candidate Guides with top tips on job searches, interview techniques, and more. Follow us on LinkedIn and bookmark our jobs page to make sure you know about all of our latest opportunities.

If you’re an experienced Complaints Handler, Complaints Investigator or Remediation Officer and are searching for your next permanent role or interim contract, have a look at our current opportunities or get in touch on 01216432100 or info@kindconsultancy.com  – we often work on high-level projects we can’t advertise so don’t be put off if nothing on the website fits what you’re looking for, we may have the right next move waiting for you.

If you’re a client and are in search of your business’s next great Complaints professional with good working knowledge of the Financial Ombudsman Service, contact us now on info@kindconsultancy.com or 01216432100 for a confidential conversation.

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