FS&PO and adjudicated decisions

WhiteCoat

Frequent Poster
Messages
88
When the mediation bit has run aground, how does the adjudication bit work with the Ombudsman?

What are the advantages & disadvantages of going the adjudication route versus going directly to the High Court?

Can one back out of the adjudication route at any stage?

Any insights into any of this appreciated.

Also, how have people found the Ombudsman's decisions generally - fair, well reasoned, other?
 

TrackerThieves

Frequent Poster
Messages
142
The way I believe the process to work is as follows. The first phase is the resolution or mediation phase. Either party can opt out of this and proceed to the the 2nd/investigation phase which in turn leads to adjudication. I'm not sure why anyone would want to opt out at the adjudication stage. If you have gotten to this stage surely you would like to know what decision the fspo has come to and if you still disagree then proceed with the courts. I don't see the point of getting this far to back out. Maybe I'm missing something
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,449
Maybe I'm missing something
Yes, you are.

If the Ombudsman hands down a decision, you can go to the High Court on very limited grounds. The High Court will not second guess the Ombudsman's decision on a point of fact or opinion. There would have to be a huge legal error or a series of very big judgemental errors for the High Court to quash the Ombudsman's decision.

If you go directly to the High Court, the case is heard from the beginning and you would just have to prove your facts on the balance of probabilities.

Brendan
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,449
What are the advantages & disadvantages of going the adjudication route versus going directly to the High Court?

This thread is a bit out of date, but the principles are still the same.

Brendan
 

WhiteCoat

Frequent Poster
Messages
88
Thank you, Brendan

If someone commences the adjudication route and gets second thoughts about it (mentioned, not so, hypothetically!) - can I back out or is it a case that, once I've engaged, I am committed to seeing it through?
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,449
I understand that you can withdraw at any time up to the issue of the Preliminary Decision.

For example, Ulster Bank will sometimes go right up to the brink, and then ask the Ombudsman to put the case on hold while they attempt to resolve it directly with the borrower. They then settle it in full, and their name does not get published so they avoid being named and shamed. And the decision is not published so others who might benefit from it never get to see it.

Brendan
 

WhiteCoat

Frequent Poster
Messages
88
Thanks again, Brendan - your time is much appreciated.

It seems clear to me that you are as familiar with this stuff as pretty much anyone.

Maybe it's a language thing - but "I understand" suggests to me an element of doubt and this feeds into my main observation.

The FSPO website talks about the principle of "transparency". I should not have to come on this site to ask my original question and an expert, like you, should KNOW the position. This point should be clearly set out in the FSPO website. This is not, in the slightest, any criticism of you.

Also, the process is not transparent in one other critical aspect which you have mentioned above and also in the referenced thread earlier. The banks know the "game" (the process) inside out - but consumers, by definition the party with a grievance, do not have anywhere near the same visibility, which puts them at a distinct disadvantage. Something really should be done to improve the transparency from the consumers' perspective.

Take the Ulster Bank approach referred to above. Are you saying that UB proceed with the Adjudication process and then ask for an opportunity to go back to mediation? Is this allowed? - where is this stated? - I had thought that once the Adjudication process had commenced, mediation options had expired?
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
41,449
Hi White Coat

The Ombudsman is constrained by law in what they can say.

I am less constrained. I can tell you that in reality, there is no point in going to the High Court after the Ombudsman makes his decision. The Ombudsman obviously can't say that.

Ulster Bank does not go back to mediation. It says that it would like an opportunity to settle this directly with the customer. The Ombudsman will notify the customer accordingly and the customer is free to say "I have no wish to engage in direct dealing with UB - please continue with the adjudication decision." But if Ulster Bank offers you what you had asked for - e.g. a return to the tracker and compensation - you would be foolish not to accept it.

I agree with you fully that the customer is at a disadvantage. However, they are at a much bigger disadvantage in the courts system.

The Ombudsman system, despite its faults, is a huge step forward for customers.

Brendan
 

WhiteCoat

Frequent Poster
Messages
88
Thanks again, Brendan,

I do not wish to run the risk of testing the patience of an expert as per your guidelines earlier on in the week! I should probably finish with this post!

The Ombudsman is constrained by law in what they can say.
My point is that there is a gap - an information gap - between what the Ombudsman can say and the Ombudsman actually does say.

I can tell you that in reality, there is no point in going to the High Court after the Ombudsman makes his decision.
I agree. This is true because of the restrictive nature of the appeal which is not obvious when commencing a complaint. Hence the question at what stage can I back out? My supposition is that even you, an expert, are not certain - the info should be clearly available in communication to the complainant and on the Ombudsman's site. Neither is the case.

Is there any way to establish the precise "back-out" point from adjudication, i.e. so that an unrestricted High Court action can be taken?

Ulster Bank does not go back to mediation.....
Have I got this right? UB let the adjudication process commence and then seek to abandon the adjudication process - with the consent of the complainant? By the context, it seems that this tactic has been facilitated by the Ombudsman on multiple occasions. Seems to me like a questionable practice.

The Ombudsman system, despite its faults, is a huge step forward for customers.
Carlsberg! That said, personally, I definitely wish that I had gone for another larger.
 

TrackerThieves

Frequent Poster
Messages
142
Yes, you are.

If the Ombudsman hands down a decision, you can go to the High Court on very limited grounds. The High Court will not second guess the Ombudsman's decision on a point of fact or opinion. There would have to be a huge legal error or a series of very big judgemental errors for the High Court to quash the Ombudsman's decision.

If you go directly to the High Court, the case is heard from the beginning and you would just have to prove your facts on the balance of probabilities.

Brendan
Thanks Brendan
That makes sense, i couldn't think of any reason why it would be beneficial to skip adjudication.
 
Top