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You can complain about the service you are receiving from the Ombudsman - but -- WARNING!

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If you have complaints to make about the quality of service from the Ombudsman, you can claim to the Independent Assessor.

 

However, here is a warning:::- it seems that most complaints about the ombudsman concern delays. If you make a complaint to the Independent Assessor it seems that your complaint will normally be suspended during the IS investigation.

This seem to be self-defeating and of course it acts as a disincentive to people to make their complaint. We don't know what the solution is to this.

 

However, once your complaint has been concluded, you should certainly make the complaint.

It is very important that the IS is made to realise the extent of the problems there are with the FOS.

If you don't complain, he will never know.

Unfortunately, bringing pressure to bear is the only way to get them to take notice.

Simply pointing out a problem or asking nicely simply doesn't work.

 

By and large, you will not be well served by the Ombudsman Service. You are mostly better off going to court.

the independent assessor's terms of reference

 

 

  1. Any person or firm directly affected by the statutory functions of the Financial Ombudsman Service may raise with the independent assessor any complaint about the standard of service provided by the Financial Ombudsman service (a service complaint), provided:
    a) the service complaint has first been made to the chief ombudsman or one of the principal ombudsmen or the service review manager, and they have had a reasonable opportunity of responding to the service complaint; and
    b) the person or firm making the service complaint remains dissatisfied and complains to the independent assessor within three months of the Financial Ombudsman Service confirming that it has completed its own internal procedures in relation to the service complaint.
  2. If the independent assessor receives a service complaint that also relates to other matters, the independent assessor shall only investigate the service complaint. Service complaints exclude, amongst other things:
    a) the merits of any decision concerning any complaint against a firm under the law and/or rules relating to the Financial Ombudsman Service, including: jurisdiction; the wider-implications process; dismissing, rejecting or upholding such a complaint; and any redress; and
    b) employment issues relating to the staff of the Financial Ombudsman Service and issues concerning commercial transactions between the Financial Ombudsman Service and third parties.
  3. Generally, the independent assessor will only consider service complaints after the complaint against the firm has been concluded. In exceptional cases, the independent assessor may require the Financial Ombudsman Service to suspend investigation of the complaint against the firm while the service complaint is considered.
  4. The independent assessor shall have access to all files held by the Financial Ombudsman Service relating to the service complaint and may seek any further information that he considers necessary from the person or firm making the service complaint or from the Financial Ombudsman Service.
  5. If the independent assessor considers that a service complaint should be upheld in whole or in part, he may recommend to the chief ombudsman that the Financial Ombudsman Service makes an apology or pays appropriate compensation (equivalent to that which the Financial Ombudsman Service would award against a firm in similar circumstances) for any damage, distress or inconvenience caused by the Financial Ombudsman Service’s standard of service to the person or firm making the service complaint.
  6. If the chief ombudsman does not accept that recommendation, the independent assessor shall refer the matter to the board of the Financial Ombudsman Service – which shall normally decide on its response at the next meeting of the board, following receipt of the recommendation, for which it is possible to include the relevant papers in the agenda.
  7. If the board of the Financial Ombudsman Service declines to comply with a recommendation referred to it by the independent assessor, it shall inform the independent assessor and the person or firm making the service complaint of its reasons for doing so, and shall publish them in its annual report.
  8. The independent assessor shall communicate his findings in writing to the person or firm who made the service complaint and to the Financial Ombudsman Service. There is no further appeal against the independent assessor’s decision.
  9. Each year the independent assessor shall compile, for inclusion in the annual report of the Financial Ombudsman Service, a summary of the number and nature of the complaints received by him/her, and of any recommendations made to the chief ombudsman or referred to the board of the Financial Ombudsman Service.

the independent assessor

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I can confirm from personal experience that complaining to the FOS about a delay in dealing with a complaint effectively puts the original complaint on hold whilst they investigate.

 

Your complaint has to go to the Service Review Team first, and depending upon how complex it is, their investigation takes at least 4 weeks but sometimes up to 6 months. It is only when their investigation is complete (however long that takes) that you can refer your complaint to the Independent Assessor.

 

There is nothing to stop you leaving your complaint about the FOS until your complaint to the FOS is resolved, but I agree that we all have to complain about these horrendous delays. My current complaint is approaching it's second birthday, and the adjudicator is still investigating.

 

When considering if/how to complain, I recommend having a very good read of the FOS service standards (on their website) and in particular checking if your case meets their criteria for urgent attention. Also read the Independent Assessor's annual review for an idea of the sort of complaints he deals with and what recommendations he's made previously. Last year's review mentions mortgage endowment claims taking more than two years as being unacceptable. How is he going to feel about fairly simple consumer credit complaints taking that long?


RMW

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

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Don't waste you time moaning about the Independent Assessor.

Do the job yourself !

The job current holder retires soon and the FOS are advertising for a replacement. £48k for 2 days a week plus various benefits, pension scheme etc, based near Canary Wharf, or can do some work from home.

Apply Now !

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/about/careers/independent-assessor-position-specification.pdf

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Didn't have a pleasant experience with the Independent Assessor personally last year. Although he did tell them to pay us £200 compensation for undue delays, he dismissed a whole raft of other complaints about bias from our adjudicator. And, after 2 years, an Ombudsman has just overturned her decision - nuff said


Settled Claims:

Abbey: £4025 Claimed 27/02/06 - Paid in full 19/06/06

NatWest: £4529 Claimed 10/05/06 - Paid in full 1/08/06

Halifax: £1150 lba 18/05/06 - Paid in full 07/06/06

Natwest CC: £420 Initial letter 25/07/06 - Paid in full 08/06

Woolwich: £1100 Paid in full 28/2/07 + Default removed

NatWest Pt 2: £1700 Claimed 10/05/06 - Paid in full 7/2/07 + Defaults removed

 

Current Claims:

Abbey Pt 2: £2300 + adverse credit removal claimed 23/03/07

Alliance & Leicester: £1421 + adverse credit removal claimed 23/03/07

 

Refunds pending:

Capital Bank: Swift Advances: Halifax

 

Son's Refunds pending:

Abbey: HSBC

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makes no difference if you think the decision was unfair (and many of mine were).

 

the IA or SRT cannot change the decision but only look at the service you received.

 

if you get a bad decision, the chances of having it overturned are non existant, even by subsequent reviews.

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The Ombudsman has ruled in favour in Barclays Bank in the two cases I have. The most disgusting one is today letter received within a day of me sending back the questionnaire to the FOS in favour of Barclays not to refund back £16,900k in fraudulent transactions. I now have 21 days to respond with the decision. Im totally confused and lost and cant believe this can happen. What was the point of the investigation by FOS

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Hi

 

I totally agree with what has been said in the above threads.

 

I have a PPI complaint worth around £15000 with egg. It went to the FOS in May they finally came back and informed me that as Egg had given me a Final Response letter in 2008 and I had not complained within the 6 months then they could not look at my complaint.

 

I looked at the letter from 2008 and could not find the words "Final Response" anywhere, just a line that said we are not upholding your complaint.

I looked on the FOS website and found an in house Newsletter which gives them advice on what a Final Response letter should contain. It clearly states that it should stand out as a final response letter.

 

I have written back to my adjudicator and informed her of this and said I disagree with her findings.

 

From what I can gather it will now be passed to someone else to look at.

 

Will be interesting to see what they come back with. My thoughts are they probably dont like having to say one of their own was wrong.

 

MandM


________________________________________________________________

ALL unsolicited PMs and E-mails should be posted up - Not all on CAG are who they appear to be

 

 

My views are my own. If in doubt, seek professional advice. If I can help though, I will. CAG helped me!!

 

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MandM

 

Send an email to the adjudicator, if possible with a scanned copy of the letter from Egg and remind the adjudicator that

 

DISP 2.8.3 states:

"The six-month time limit is only triggered by a response which is a final response. A final response must tell the complainant about the six-month time limit that the complainant has to refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service."

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I don't see why not. Write to the Adjudicator or Ombudsman and ask for details of the Complaints Procedure. The Service Review Team which used to handle this has been disbanded, but you should now be able to complain to the Heads of Casework, they should respond within 20 days, if not satisfied by this response, you should be able to take it to the Independent Assessor.

I am not allowed to post links but see the FOS web site...about us...service standards

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Okay. My daughter complained to the FOS about Barclays. In November 2007, 18 mths after her Woolwich account was changed to a Barclays account, Barclays decided they would no longer migrate any payments made into the old Woolwich account to the newer Barclays account. Upshot my daughter's salary, which was always paid by bacs into what she assumed was her Barclays current account, was 'lost' (actually put into a holding account, which Barclays said they couldn't retrieve for 14 working days). Barclays said they had informed her of this change. But neither she nor I (who also had Barclays a/c) ever received any letters. Barclays also admitted in a letter to her that they did not inform all their customers of this change. As a result, because Barclays refused to cancel her impending DD's or give her a temporary overdraft, she incurred horrendous bank charges, which she has refused to pay. From not being overdrawn the day before this event she now apparently owes Barclays over £600 in charges!!!!!

 

The FOS has been a complete plank, he takes everything Barclays says as wrote, even though they are complete lies! We can get proof of the phone calls we made to try and sort this problem and also mitigate the cost of the bank charges, he has never once asked for them. He apparently has bank statements from Barclays showing my daughter used her debit card after the event. How, in gods name she did this I don't know. She had no authorised overdraft so her card would've been declined. Further, because of the lack of help my daughter got from Barclays, her employers wrote her a cheque out for her salary and she open a new account elsewhere immediately and cut up her Barclays debit card. Her employers then claimed the salary payment that was sitting in the holding a/c back.

 

FOS says it's all my daughter's fault and that she should've paid the charges (approx £100) for the bounced DD's immediately and not gone to another bank. When I told him it sounded more like he was working for Barclays he go very huffy and said he was not going to stay on the phone to be insulted.

 

I have asked that the complaint go to the next level, but after reading this I don't hold out any hope there either.

 

I'm not silly woman and really thought that the FOS would be able to see my daughter's point in this situation and why she had refused to pay the charges and actually went to another bank. I seriously cannot believe what this stupid man at the FOS has said. Even when he was requested to contact my daughter by post or email only because she works long hours and is NOT allowed to make or receive personal calls at work, he still continued to call her on the phone. She sent an email requesting he accept her authority to speak to me to make things easier only to be told the request had to be in writing! Yet he had emailed and received emails from her (on the same email a/c) several times before that.

 

The phrase I'm at my wits end with the FOS comes to mind. Or indeed, 'am I missing something here' something that would make it clear she was at fault? Certainly FOS cannot see/will not accept that no one in their right mind is going to ignore a letter from the bank, if they receive it, telling them to change the sort code and a/c no where their salary is paid in or it will not reach their account!

 

HELP HELP HELP suggestions or answers to where I go from here please!

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Okay. My daughter complained to the FOS about Barclays. In November 2007, 18 mths after her Woolwich account was changed to a Barclays account, Barclays decided they would no longer migrate any payments made into the old Woolwich account to the newer Barclays account. Upshot my daughter's salary, which was always paid by bacs into what she assumed was her Barclays current account, was 'lost' (actually put into a holding account, which Barclays said they couldn't retrieve for 14 working days). Barclays said they had informed her of this change. But neither she nor I (who also had Barclays a/c) ever received any letters. Barclays also admitted in a letter to her that they did not inform all their customers of this change. As a result, because Barclays refused to cancel her impending DD's or give her a temporary overdraft, she incurred horrendous bank charges, which she has refused to pay. From not being overdrawn the day before this event she now apparently owes Barclays over £600 in charges!!!!!

 

The FOS has been a complete plank, he takes everything Barclays says as wrote, even though they are complete lies! We can get proof of the phone calls we made to try and sort this problem and also mitigate the cost of the bank charges, he has never once asked for them. He apparently has bank statements from Barclays showing my daughter used her debit card after the event. How, in gods name she did this I don't know. She had no authorised overdraft so her card would've been declined. Further, because of the lack of help my daughter got from Barclays, her employers wrote her a cheque out for her salary and she open a new account elsewhere immediately and cut up her Barclays debit card. Her employers then claimed the salary payment that was sitting in the holding a/c back.

 

FOS says it's all my daughter's fault and that she should've paid the charges (approx £100) for the bounced DD's immediately and not gone to another bank. When I told him it sounded more like he was working for Barclays he go very huffy and said he was not going to stay on the phone to be insulted.

 

I have asked that the complaint go to the next level, but after reading this I don't hold out any hope there either.

 

I'm not silly woman and really thought that the FOS would be able to see my daughter's point in this situation and why she had refused to pay the charges and actually went to another bank. I seriously cannot believe what this stupid man at the FOS has said. Even when he was requested to contact my daughter by post or email only because she works long hours and is NOT allowed to make or receive personal calls at work, he still continued to call her on the phone. She sent an email requesting he accept her authority to speak to me to make things easier only to be told the request had to be in writing! Yet he had emailed and received emails from her (on the same email a/c) several times before that.

 

The phrase I'm at my wits end with the FOS comes to mind. Or indeed, 'am I missing something here' something that would make it clear she was at fault? Certainly FOS cannot see/will not accept that no one in their right mind is going to ignore a letter from the bank, if they receive it, telling them to change the sort code and a/c no where their salary is paid in or it will not reach their account!

 

HELP HELP HELP suggestions or answers to where I go from here please!

 

Perhaps try asking the CAB (citizens advice) about challenging Barclay's on Consumer Rights law on supplying misleading information to FOS? more importantly they (CAB) perhaps could get charges frozen - thats the key to prevent it getting worse.

Hope this helps - PS my experience is the banks and FOS rely on you to give up after about 6 months so your not going mad - it is a strategy they both use. I have a FOS complaint going back 4 years...:|

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Is there any point to these people. The FOS are not going to bite the hand that feeds them.

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Agreed. The complaint that I submitted on behalf of my wife , ticked all boxes in respect of hardship - illness, depression, loss of earnings, etc and they still found in the HSBC banks favour!

 

It all smacks of the old boys network.

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That's because the people they employ are NOT legally qualified and paid for by the industry ( banks and insurance companies ) so they're not likely to bite the hand that feeds them!!:-x Bloody waste of space and time they are. Just tick the box saying you don't agree on the appeal.:-x:-x:-x:-x:-x

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Don`t waste your time, the Ombudsman is either incompetent or bank biased, I charged them with failing to apply the required due care and attention to evidence supplied and they refuse to investigate my claims, the Ind Assessor states they only investigate charges of Poor Service, they have also changed their Name (not address or staff) and cannot investigate complaints about a previous Ombudsmans Scheme, so I have no answer to my complaints about them. What did they do wrong in investigating my complaint that the Halifax plc had claimed and pursued for eight years, Mortgage Arrears that only showed to exist as a result of a Halifax printing error, the FSO misdirected evidence/replies, invented amounts, quoted dates and amounts out of sequence, contradicted hard copy evidence, even got my address incorrect, refused to comment on the Halifax of failing to comply with the Banking Code, Data Protection Act, FSA requirements, a Lawful Court Order and when correcting their error not only ignored all my Costs and Losses but debited their Costs to my account.

Question to the FSO = why do they think the proven innocent party should pay everyones Costs ? - no answer.

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using the FOS and responding to legal action - which one can be done first ???


'rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to the earth like dew, which in sleep had fall'n on you, ye are many, they are few.' Percy Byshse Shelly 1819

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You can do either in any order just not both at the same time.

 

In my case the Halifax Summonsed thus denying me access to the Ombudsman and with General Adjournments kept the matter in the legal system (permanently) until after nine years I gave up.

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if the legal action is a different matter to the fos enquiry, what then, I was informed that if the fos are looking at say, unfair charges, and the legal action is a defence of a different matter, then is no conflict?


'rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to the earth like dew, which in sleep had fall'n on you, ye are many, they are few.' Percy Byshse Shelly 1819

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I can't get them to properly look at my mortgage arrears charges. I've had 2 adjudicators (first one left) and both say that the charges have been applied fairly as per T's and C's (because I accepted them), cannot be assessed as unfair based on price (UTCCR) and the bank has provided a breakdown showing the cost as charged (£35 a go). But they've not commented on MCOB 12.4.1R and the FSA fines on various mortgage lenders (probably consider them not relevant). More than the charges, they've considered the complaint on whether the bank applied the charges fairly, not how much they charged me, and conclude that because I was in arrears the bank was right to charge me.

 

Much of what i've said and provided has again been ignored, despite promises to look at everything I say.

 

Any advice on what I can do?

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I only know that they will not investigate anything that is under discussion within the legal system (Court), if you wish to complain to the FSO then make sure no reference is made to the other matters and you may be ok.

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thanks, - re charges, it is a matter of personal choice whether to take a lender into court for unfair charges as they obviously have considerably power, however, some have done so and got their charges back despite this, clearly £35 is unfair.


'rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to the earth like dew, which in sleep had fall'n on you, ye are many, they are few.' Percy Byshse Shelly 1819

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I can't get them to properly look at my mortgage arrears charges. I've had 2 adjudicators (first one left) and both say that the charges have been applied fairly as per T's and C's (because I accepted them), cannot be assessed as unfair based on price (UTCCR) and the bank has provided a breakdown showing the cost as charged (£35 a go). But they've not commented on MCOB 12.4.1R and the FSA fines on various mortgage lenders (probably consider them not relevant). More than the charges, they've considered the complaint on whether the bank applied the charges fairly, not how much they charged me, and conclude that because I was in arrears the bank was right to charge me.

 

Much of what i've said and provided has again been ignored, despite promises to look at everything I say.

 

Any advice on what I can do?

 

hmmm, do they say why they cannot assess them as unfair under the regs? from my experience I am think that there is a variety of actions one can take, via different bodies, such as complain to FOS, who appear to have little power of jurisdiction (?) - take a claim into the county court for unfair charges using the templates on here, try another regulatory body, FLA etc.


'rise like lions after slumber, in unvanquishable number, shake your chains to the earth like dew, which in sleep had fall'n on you, ye are many, they are few.' Percy Byshse Shelly 1819

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hmmm, do they say why they cannot assess them as unfair under the regs? from my experience I am think that there is a variety of actions one can take, via different bodies, such as complain to FOS, who appear to have little power of jurisdiction (?) - take a claim into the county court for unfair charges using the templates on here, try another regulatory body, FLA etc.

 

Yes, they say UTCCR reg 5 and 6 do not apply in relation to price (that they are too high) but, from what i know, this only applies to a core service and not an incidental charge, i.e. an arrears fee is charged when there is a breach of the consumer's obligation to make a monthly payment. It is not a service charge that is always present but deferred (like overdraft charges).

 

I have asked the FSA who only refer to the FOS as the body set up to look at consumer complaints. The FSA do not take any complaints from consumers.

 

The FOS have completely ignored the FSA ruling (and fines) on some mortgage lenders (GMAC, Redstone etc) as they say this is not relevant to my bank since it's not them who got fined. But it is clear (to me) that these fines relate to the same sort of activity and hence are very relevant, as stated on this forum.

 

There has been no court action on my arrears charges, i've raised it with the bank and then the FOS.

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style="text-align:center;"> Please note that this topic has not had any new posts for the last 1088 days.

If you are trying to post a different story then you should start your own new thread. Posting on this thread is likely to mean that you won't get the help and advice that you need.

If you are trying to post information which is relevant to the story in this thread then please flag it up to the site team and they will allow you to post.

Thank you
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