Financial Ombudsman Service
Finance

Considerations for a Financial Ombudsman Service complaint

If you have a complaint, you must contact the financial firm directly, but if it does not resolve it to your satisfaction, you can refer it to the Financial Ombudsman Service. If you lodge a formal complaint, if you believe that the response from the firms is inappropriate or you have not heard from them within eight weeks, you have the right to lodge your complaint with the FOS. You can get free official assistance from an independent complaints service to force the company to pay compensation.

If the Financial Ombudsman Service decides in your favour, it has the power to order the company to put things right. If it accepts that the company you are complaining about has done something wrong, but knows how to uphold your complaint, it also has the power to force it to correct the issue. This could include asking them to apologise, reimburse you for any financial losses you have suffered, or demand compensation for you.

You can contact the company within six months of going to the Financial Ombudsman. You can also complain to the Ombudsman within three years if you know you have lodged a complaint, or six years after a problem has arisen.

You can address your complaint to anyone who offers you a service or product, be it your bank, insurance company, credit union or money lender. You can either talk to or write to the person you are dealing with or ask a complaint manager to make a complaint. If this happens, the company investigating your complaint may not be able to give you a response.

It is up to you whether you want to give the company more time to make your complaint to the FOS. If you have complained to a bank or building society and it has not dealt with your complaint, or if you are unhappy with its response, you can ask the Banking Ombudsman Australia to investigate the dispute. You can make a complaint in person, by phone, in writing, in writing or by e-mail, depending on where you are at the bank.

You can also call the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) hotline to check if your complaint is getting help. Claims management firms, also known as claims assessors, are firms which charge a fee to take your complaint to the ombudsman. Independent complaints bodies, such as the Financial Ombudsman Service, are free but if you make a formal complaint without a company being involved, you must use them.

Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) can help by calling. The FOS may also contact you for further information on whether there has been a hearing or legal proceedings.

If the company does not resolve the complaint itself within 8 weeks and the consumer is not satisfied with the response, he can file the complaint with the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will act on behalf of consumers and give businesses dissatisfied with the complaint the opportunity to look at the complaint before taking a decision on the dispute.

The Ombudsman takes decisions on the basis of what he considers fair and reasonable in the particular circumstances of the case. Just as courts rely on companies to break the law, the Ombudsman Service follows the rules of the regulatory authorities that treat customers.

Since the introduction of banks, insurance companies, brokers, investment companies and other financial service providers, there have been laws and complaints procedures for consumers. The rules and regulators, including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), play a key role.

If you are dissatisfied with the service you receive from your bank, financial adviser, or any other financial firm, this is easy to sort out. Most companies care about treating their customers well, and only when something goes wrong do, we report it. We correct things, explain why, and apologise.

The company’s complaints procedure appears on its website and asks you to explain your concerns and how you would like them resolved. Your complaint will be investigated by the head of administration under the direction of the chairman of the service, or by the chairman if you have complained directly to him. If your complaint is upheld, you may receive a full apology and details of the action intended to take to remedy the situation.

The FOS has analysed the complaints behaviour of claim management companies (CMCs) and has two years “worth of data. The Ombudsman says that he expects complaints about mis-selling of PPI claims to continue to decline, but that companies in other areas will continue to be active such as consumer credit, investment, and mortgages, and that it is important that these companies work with consumers and get the fairest outcome.

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