The report from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Insurance & Financial Services on the future of the Financial Ombudsman Service makes several interesting recommendations. It comes out with some clear recommendations on the binding limit and the need for a much clearer appeals process. It is worth reading.
Having sat through the presentations from the Ombudsman, industry and consumer representatives, I can vouch for it being a very even-handed review. There is something in it for everyone and somethings that will not be to their liking as well.
For instance, the Ombudsman will not be happy about the suggestion that an independent appeals process should be introduced as it has opposed this in the past. Industry representatives pressed for a refundable fee to be introduced but this was rejected.
Most of the recommendations now go to the Hunt Review and it will be up to Lord Hunt to sift through the many differing views he will receive. Some of the group's recommendations about banking regulation and law, however, fall way outside the scope of the FOS review and will be taken up separately with the Financial Services Authority and the Law Commission. These may prove the more controversial in the long run.
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