15 Mar 2016
The Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR), just published, says that The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) “has a crucial role in ensuring redress for consumers, and building confidence in the financial services sector, providing a quicker, easier alternative to the courts”.
The FAMR’s view on the role of the FOS was “that an effective financial advice market depends on consumers having access to a fair, objective means of resolving disputes with firms” but noted that the review highlighted concerns “about some aspects of how the Financial Ombudsman Service operates”.
With this observation ringing loudly in the ears of financial advisers, the findings of our latest FOS survey may, we hope, act as a source of constructive criticism. According to our latest survey all is not well at all at the FOS.
The results will be shared with HM Treasury, the TSC, FOS and the FCA.
Once again we find that:
- an overwhelming majority see that in 2015, FOS adjudications are unfair- 71%.
- Adjudicators actually help create complaints where no complaint existed- 69%
- FOS rules place an adviser or firm in a ‘guilty until you prove your innocence’ position from outset- 85%.
2015 is as consistent as our previous years findings from 2011 onwards. It is the hundreds of heartfelt comments that really tell the story.
The publication of the FAMR report sees a number of recommendations published, numbers 22, 23, 25 and 26 in fact.
It will be interesting to see if they are acted upon in 2016, I am sure our 2017 investigations will assist in that discovery.