Financial Ombudsman...how long for decision

portboy

Frequent Poster
Messages
61
Any idea how long an investigation takes from the Financial Services Ombudsman ? It says on their website that they have 60 working days but I know that is to give them a bit of leeway...any idea what is typical...I am waiting on a decision from them
 

Kurly

Registered User
Messages
12
Hi, I've just forwarded a complaint on to the FOS. They informed me that the "person or company" you are complaining about has 8 weeks in which to reply to the Ombudsman's questions after investigation. They are however experiencing a high volume of complaints due to mortgage complaints.

Hope this helps. Any other info, please ask.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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39,588
A particular process must be followed.
The Ombudsman must review the complaint.
He may well have to clarify the issue with the complainant.
He must send it to the Financial Institution for a response.
He will probably have to contact the complainant for further information.
He will probably have to contact the Financial Institution for further information.

Don't forget - they are processing thousands of complaints, not just yours.

It's very fast compared to the Courts Service, but I don't know how it compares to the other Ombudsman Services.

Brendan
 

Midsummer

Frequent Poster
Messages
112
Mine took about 8 months but you'll get letter updates from them telling you how long the institution has to reply etc.
 

Banking2006

Frequent Poster
Messages
170
From my experience (with BOI, Tesco, Ulster Bank, Littlewood's & Halifax), the Ombudsman Service is a paper exercise. Even the banks know this and have standard letters they issue- it's always great fun picking 'holes' in what they say- but then when it ends up with the Ombudsman, he's inundated and tries to get rid of complaints. Saying that he/ she do great work there- look at their issue with Davy's and Enfield Credit Union as an example.

Saying that, eveni if it is a 'paper' exercise, I would recommend we all complain, when it is deemed necessary. It'll keep the 'friendly' customer complaints sections in the banks busy if nothing else! Also make sure you never put a postage stamp on such letters to them- they all operate 'Freepost'!
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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39,588
Banking2006

If you have had complaints about 5 different institutions in such a short time, then it's possible that your complaints are unreasonable or even vexatious. They certainly do not just get rid of them.

They find in the complainant's favour on about 60% of cases, so they can't be just getting rid of them.

The Ombudsman is very busy and very efficient. People should only complain to the banks and to the Ombudsman when they have a genuine complaint and not just to keep them busy.

It's not great fun. Some people have lost serious money and your approach is depriving them of getting their complaint dealt with quickly.

Brendan
 

Banking2006

Frequent Poster
Messages
170
Brendan

I can assure you that the complaints are neither unreasonable or even vexatious as you state. In all cases, my complaints have succeeded and the Ombudsman did indeed make small financial awards- as a gesture. So if anyone needs guidance on how to approach such issues with banks/ Ombudsman they may wish to PM me.
 

ClubMan

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43,880
As explained above/elsewhere my complaint was long drawn out but not due to the FSO as far as I could see. In my case it was far from just a paper exercise.
 

Banking2006

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Messages
170
In my case, a bank needed extra time to issue the required Final Response Letter and said they had carried out a thorough search of their records for a loan application I made 2 months earlier- turns out they said I hadn't actually applied! Luckily I still had their loan offer documentation etc
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
39,588
So Banking2006

How on earth can you criticize the Financial Ombudsman?

A bank lost your application - that is not the FSO's fault.

You had 5 complaints and they adjudicated in your favour on all 5 occasions.

I really think that you should retract your unfair criticism of the FSO.

Brendan
 

Banking2006

Frequent Poster
Messages
170
Brendan

As you are aware, the Ombudsman service should be the last resort and actually never used by the public if the banks were honest in their handling of disputes- why would all my 5 complaints be in my favour! It just means extra paperwork all round- complain initially to bank, then request follow-up from bank, later request Final Response Letter from bank (and then even after the bank has already 'thoroughly' investigated the matter be subjected to another 25 day wait), then submit same to Ombudsman, wait for letter to say he/ she will actually investigate the issue, then a further waiting period (as highlighted by AAM users) of up to 6 months! Why can't the first point of contact- i.e. the bank- just be fair and honest in their dealings??

If i suggested any unfair criticism of the Ombudsman, I sincerely apologise. But I for one am tired of the paper chase charade- even if i eventually win! In hindsight, I should not group the banks and Ombudsman in the same category- they are separate and for that I apologise and unreservedly withdraw any unfavourable remarks that may have been inferred towards the Ombudsman.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
39,588
Thanks for that. It's rare enough to see a state service working so well and I don't like to see them being unfairly criticized.

Different financial institutions have different approaches to complaints. Some bend over backwards and are too generous to customers who complain.

Others seem to force them on the Ombudsman.

Around 40% of complaints referred to the Ombudsman are rejected by him. I am guessing that for every 100 complaints referred to him, maybe another 100 are resolved directly by the institution.

Brendan
 

Midsummer

Frequent Poster
Messages
112
I agree that the Ombudsman is efficient - I was kept up to date about my complaint all along. I didn't 100% agree with the outcome but basically it was a lot better than banging my head against a wall which would have been the case if I had been left to deal with the institution on my own (without engaging a solicitor etc.).

At least I got some money back (about 40% of my original claim) whereas if it hadn't been for the Ombudsman I would have gotten back nil.

It's a bit unfortunate that your only course of appeal is the High Court which of course isn't worth it for relatively small amounts but otherwise I think it's a good and thorough service and would definitely encourage people to use it (but be prepared for a wait which is usually due to the institutions looking for paper than the Ombudsman).
 
R

Rightly dun

Guest
Unfortunately in my case I was unable to go to the Financial Services Ombudsman, as in my dealings with a company I was told to get my solicitor involved and I didn’t know at the time that once you start that process the Ombudsman can not look at any complaint until that process is complete and as Brendan said that can be a very long road. Just thought I would make that point.
 

och aye

Frequent Poster
Messages
31
If a Financial Service/Broker makes a 'goodwill financial offer without prejudice' to a complainant, can you accept this as a partial settlement and continue to take your complaint to ombudsman to try and secure outstanding demand or is it deemed by ombudsman that you accepted offer in settlement of complaint and therefore ombudsman cant persue complaint.
Should complainant accept a goodwill offer if it falls short of amount demanded.?
 
M

mercman

Guest
A number of matters from this thread. What would be the point of accepting a 'without prejuduce' partial settlement and then continuing on after that with the Ombudsman. I would say that your complaint might be viewed as vexatious.

In the main the FSO do a very good job. I have two cases with them and in fairness they give all sides the benefit of putting their case forward. The main reason I went to the FSO was, I thought it would be quicker than the legal system and obviously (but not the main reason in my case) is the costs saved in going the FSO route.

As the FSO office is funded by the Financial Providers industry and I am a bit of a 'Doubting Thomas' I often wonder is extra creedence given to the providers side in having their matters and errors corrected.

In one of my cases the FP have been given countless time schedules over 4 months to submit a letter of Final Response. When it did arrive in the main it bore no relevance to my complaint. Regardless if the decision made does not fall in accordance with the complainant, the choice of using the legal route is there.
 
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