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Financial ombudsman comes under fire as insider reveals litany of bad practices

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http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/public/sitesearch.do?querystring=ombudsman+whistleblower&p=tto&pf=all&bl=on

 

and was writen by Lauren Thompson - who should be congratulated for this piece

 

 

Customers with grievances about their bank are being let down by a poorly trained and slapdash ombudsman, according to a whistleblower who used to work at the service.

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the independent body that settles disputes between banks and customers, lacks the expertise and resources to investigate complaints properly, the former employee alleges. Other critics, including independent financial advisers and lawyers, also accuse the ombudsman of bias in favour of the banks.

The FOS handles 170,000 cases every year and is the last hope for desperate consumers battling with the financial services industry.

Jane Sanders worked as an adjudicator at the FOS between 2006 and 2008, on £22,000 a year, and was “absolutely disgusted” at how the service is run. She says: “If adjudicators don’t meet their targets, they don’t get their bonus, so, of course, cases are going to be rushed through. My target was to close 3.5 cases every week.

 

Banks hold Ombudsman in Contempt


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I for one am utterly disgusted in the way FOS has dealt with valid complaints I have sent to them.

 

They are exceptionally happy to accept illegible application forms as concrete proof the a DCA may continue to hunt one without mercy or without challenge.

 

They also told me that once a bank is "satisfied" that it is correct about a debt then a debt is no longer considered in dispute, just because a debtor considers it to be so. This is plain silly, utterly biased in favour of the lender and outrageous.

 

All this flies in the face of OFT guidelines and the law and MUST be stopped.

 

FOS is clearly acting over and above their remit as an impartial (lol) body.

 

They will "impartially" listen to your many detailed complaints and then smugly tell you that a DCA is acting quite properly/professionally in line with the internal collection procedures; i.e. ringing you against your wishes at all hours and writing baloney to you on a regular basis. They will tell you that they are NOT a legal body but they will tell you that a shark is legally- entitled to pursue you with nothing more than an unreadable application form for proof of an alleged agreement- a worthless form that may or may NOT have been accepted many years ago.

 

They have taken the side on banks and aggressive DCAs and this can only harm millions of ordinary consumers.

 

I cannot express my revulsion for this coterie. I hope that even more whistleblowers come out and expose them for what they are – a banker puppet!

 

My advice is to recreate an A4 application form that is illegible (the harder to read the better). Then roll over it with a muddy car tyre. Next send a red-letter demand to some DCA manager for a million quid and when they refuse to pay you tell them to grumble to FOS.

Now if FOS is consistent they will impartially examine the muddy application form and tell the DCA gaffer that they cannot help them as a valid and enforceable agreement obviously exists......

 

Jeez - don’t get me going on this lot...........

 

Chocolate teapots are more use to consumers.

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Hi I agree with you completely there seems no accountability for theses Banker Gangsters. ( we dont stand a chance of any fairness when it comes to the Banks)

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I've just had dealings with the FOS regarding interest rate calculation only to be told that they (FOS) are not a calculation service. When pushing the matter further it was revealed that the FOS ask the financial company in question to re-calculate their figures and when the company comes back as says that their figures were accurate the FOS says OK and finds in favour of the company.

 

If anybody does decide to complain to the FOS the matter does not go before an ombudsman but to an adjudicator. If you are not satisfied with the adjudicators finding you have to request that the matter get escalated to an ombudman as I have just done.

 

Regards

 

Mike

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I have a case with the ombudsman which has been going on for over 2 and a half years and it is only just been passed to an adjudicator?????


Only direct action by the masses will work....

 

Look at all successes they have never come from negotiation!!!

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IMO the FOS is no longer 'fit for purpose'. It is as simple as that. I know that the Tories are planning to get rid of the FSA and roll the regulators into the OFT but the best ouctome for consumers would be just to get rid of FOS.


Arrow Global/MBNA - Discontinued and paid costs

HFO/Morgan Stanley (Barclays) - Discontinued and paid costs

HSBC - Discontinued and paid costs

Nationwide - Ran for cover of stay pending OFT case 3 yrs ago

RBS/Mint - Nothing for 4 yrs after S78 request

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I've had a complaint in with the FOS since June and the Adjudicator phoned me on two occasions to recap my case then comes back to me and tells me that the Halifax have not done anything wrong. However, I have taken screen shots of my account everyday and have sent them several incidences where my account has been mismanaged and charges occurring as a result.

 

I received an email from this Adjudicator tonight telling me that the matter is now in the process of being considered by the Ombudsman when in fact I gave instructions on 18th November 09 to pass it over.

 

I have proven on several occasions that their website is a day behind in placing transactions to the account and this has incurred me in several charges and I've seen many other people complaining about the same thing.

 

They say that Saturday and Sunday are not banking days yet I have transactions on my account on a Sunday.

 

I have absolutely no faith at all in the FOS, the only satisfaction I have is that it cost the Halifax £500. I've now changed to NATWEST and their charges for a returned item is only £5.00 big difference to £35.00.

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I had a call from the adjudicator two nights ago confirming that my e-mail requesting that my case be escalated to an ombudsman had been received but, says she, "is this what I really want". The fact that I am issuing a complaint against her handling of the case which she admitted was incompetent may have something to do with the call.

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If yu don't like the reply from an Ombudman you may still persue the matter in court. If you are experiencing diffiuclties in calculating interest charges why not emply an accountant to help you and charge that to the bank as costs?

 

If the bank is breaking the banking code try looking at OFT 854 it is really focussed on helping the consumer. It came out in July 2009 and should give you some ammuntion to use with the Financial Ombudsman.

 

regards

 

 

Ieuan

Edited by ieuanMr

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I'm seeing my MP this week to talk about financial industry complaints - the FOS is top of my list. SJ

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I have a case in with the FOS. I first went to them in August 2009, my complaint was against Capital 1. Capital 1 harassed me by telephone - I had anything from 5 -15 calls per day 7 days a week. They refused to set up payments plans and on one occasion they actualy told me that I should use my mortgage money to pay them. They piled the charges on, my original debt was 800 by the time they finished I owe £1180.

 

I was appointed a case worker, who was absolutely useless. She told me that I should take responsibility for the debt. That I could not write up a debt of this amount and not expect to pay it back. She also told me that the phone calls were not excessive considering I owed them the money. I lost my temper at her and wrote a letter of complaint because of her attitude - about 5 weeks ago I got a letter saying that she no longer worked fo the FOS and I now have a case worker.

 

Don't hold out much hope though.

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Stuff FOS.

 

Start a claim in Small Claims for recovery of credit card charges and interest on those charges.

 

Now.

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The interest calculation can be worked out. If you have paid say regular monthly payments of £10 over a 27 month period your interest calculation would be:

 

month one = 10 x 27 x (0.08/12) where 10 is the monthly sum, 27 is the term and .08/12 is the monthly interest.

month 2 = 10 x 26 x (0.8/12)

and so on until month 1

month one is 10 x 1 x .08/12

 

The formula to calculate the lot in one sum is as follows, since the 27th term is [10 x .08/12] x 27

and the 1st term is [10 x .08/12] x 1

the the average is 27 +1 /2 = 14

 

to the total of the terms is n/2 [10 x .08/12]

= 14[10 x .08/12]

 

that is the interest for the full term at 8% now just add the principal.

 

If the sums vary every month then set up a spread sheet for all the terms starting at the full term if its 60 month then you need 60 lines

 

the first line wil be of columns

 

sum interest/month term Total

6.80 .08/12 60 x

 

then after you have calcualted all the terms add up the x column.

 

Let me know if you have any problems.

 

If there is a difference to your calcualtion and theirs send them a copy of your calculation and ask them to provide theirs.

 

If you need a compount interst it is slightly different , let me know.

 

Don't forget, you do not have to accept the Ombdsman's diescision, you can still go to court and the fact that you have been to the ombudsman should count as arbitration. The court likes to see if you have exhausted every avenue to settle before going to court.

 

The thing you must do is to explain fully why you don't agree with the Ombudman's descision and/or why you don't agree with the interst calculation.

 

regards

 

ieuan

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My case with the FOS is becoming more complicated with more and more people getting involved and the all seem to draw conclusions without examining all of the relevant facts. I am beginning to wonder whether this is a tactic by the FOS to get me so frustrated that I will give the fight. One thing I would like to know however, who funds the FOS?

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The banks fund the FOS. However, they also get charged £500 for each complaint investigated. They have handled several cases for me, 3 of which I was pleased with but the current complaint against the Halifax is a shambles.

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That's interesting because, so far the staff at the FOS have emphatically denied any financial connection with the financial organisations.

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DO NOT get me started on the FOS - they are a complete waste of time and effort, despite the fact that I've already won two cases with them.

 

Current complaint submitted April '08 wasn't even allocated to an adjudicator until Feb '09 since when she has done nothing but ask for irrelevant information and make decisions that totally conflict with decisions in previous cases (as well as totally conflict with any statute, code of practice or industry standard, but we expect that one).

 

After complaining about the delay and over my protests, she was asked to deal with the case urgently. 5 months ago. Progress since = 0. Incidentally, I've had to agree to the complaint about the FOS being put on hold whilst she does this since they can't do both at the same time apparently.

 

I'm now just letting the FOS dig themselves into an ever deeper hole whilst I pursue things my own way. If/when that avenue bears fruit I can withdraw the complaint to the FOS and follow up the complaint about them.


RMW

"If you want my parking space, please take my disability" Common car park sign in France.

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Hi reallymadwoman

Who did you address your complaint about the Ombudsman to? I'm seeing my MP but would be pleased to lodge several formal complaints. I've had two unsuccessful decisions (one from an Ombudsman, the other still with the Adjudicator at this stage) and one offering something but not nearly enough and riddled with flaws and cop outs. SJ

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DO NOT get me started on the FOS - they are a complete waste of time and effort, despite the fact that I've already won two cases with them.

 

Current complaint submitted April '08 wasn't even allocated to an adjudicator until Feb '09 since when she has done nothing but ask for irrelevant information and make decisions that totally conflict with decisions in previous cases (as well as totally conflict with any statute, code of practice or industry standard, but we expect that one).

 

After complaining about the delay and over my protests, she was asked to deal with the case urgently. 5 months ago. Progress since = 0. Incidentally, I've had to agree to the complaint about the FOS being put on hold whilst she does this since they can't do both at the same time apparently.

 

I'm now just letting the FOS dig themselves into an ever deeper hole whilst I pursue things my own way. If/when that avenue bears fruit I can withdraw the complaint to the FOS and follow up the complaint about them.

 

ive got 4 fos people all looking at my case its a case of the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing......

so ive tried to esculate it to the omsbudsman and still waiting for a reply since march 2009....

patrickq1

what a bunch of shysters all cases should be re opened and the banks should be brought to justice but its a bit like pi**ing in the wind huh ..


http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk/forum/welcome-consumer-forums/107001-how-do-i-dummies.html

 

 

 

 

Advice & opinions given by patrickq1 are personal, are not endorsed by Consumer Action Group or Bank Action Group, and are offered informally, without prejudice & without liability. Your decisions and actions are your own, and should you be in any doubt, you are advised to seek the opinion of a qualified professional

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Hi, I have a complaint via FOS against Welcome finance, after reading the latest about the FOS I am wondering if Welcome will still be around when the FOS get their finger out and make a decision!

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My complaint against the Halifax was supposed to go to the Ombudsman 2 months ago and I had an email today to say its still waiting. I do know the staff are working really long hours, had a call at 8.30 pm one night and 4.00 pm on a Saturday afternoon, the Adjudicator told me she was working on the Sunday as well. Might help to reduce their hours if (a) they actually read the correspondence sent to them and (b) actually absorbed the information given to them in 2 phone calls, plus followed up by an email.

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