Since 2011 we have been conducting research via a simple survey to gauge what advisers think about service levels and standards delivered by the FOS, in particular looking at their processes and the fairness of the system.
The first survey ran in 2011, then 2014 and finally, our last was in 2016, with the same questions.
A particularly disturbing trend was the increase of firms who had experienced false or manufactured accusations from complainants in an attempt to gain compensation, which went up from an already large 64% in 2011 to 74% in 2014.
2016 continued to show a consistent negativity of experience.
So, what does 2018 look like?
Another two years have passed, and we want to know, will 2018 see any improvement on the:
- 71% of advisers that felt FOS adjudications are unfair?
- 69% of advisers that felt adjudicators help create complaints where no complaint existed?
- 85% of advisers that felt FOS rules place an adviser or firm in a ‘guilty until proven innocent’ position from outset?
Channel 4 ‘Dispatches’ itself tackled the FOS earlier this year, painting a rather bleak picture of operations. As a result of the programme, FOS Boss Caroline Wayman has launched a review so it could “better understand and address the concerns” raised by Dispatches. This will be reported to Parliament shortly before summer recess.
Hopefully our survey, which will be shared with the FOS and Nicky Morgan (Chair of the TSC), will prove timely, and for Ms. Wayman provide a view of the FOS from an adviser perspective. And the industry itself can ponder if things have got better or not since 2011, 2014 and 2016.
Your input is important, vital and greatly appreciated.