The Financial Ombudsman Service wants to reach out to insurance and mortgage intermediaries through ...
The Financial Ombudsman Service wants to reach out to insurance and mortgage intermediaries through a series of meetings this summer in order to help destroy "urban myths" about how the service actually does its work.
David Cresswell, FOS head of communications, says the meetings will also enable intermediaries yet to fall under FSA regulation by 2004-5 to put their questions to the FOS about cases they may have heard about that concern them.
"Intermediaries hear stories about what the FOS is supposed to have done, for example, that it hands down decisions written on tablets of stone with no chance of appeal," Cresswell says.
"However, last year just 11% of cases resulted in the FOS handing down a judgement, as the vast majority of cases were settled through mediation before any such decision was necessary."
Cresswell cites the 250 insurance and mortgage intermediary firms, including national networks, that have joined the FOS through its "voluntary jurisdiction" process since April this year as evidence that the message is getting through.
The reasons vary, but for most firms it is simply a matter of developing their relationships with customers, or, in the case of brokers wearing multiple hats, of ensuring that customers are not confused as to why some business is covered by the FOS and other business is not, he says.
"Nobody can stop customers complaining. Firms have to face up to that reality as more people look to litigation. The FOS route is less expensive, takes less management time, and has been around successfully in other areas of financial services for some 20 years now."
The scheduled meetings will take place across England and Wales between late July through early October.
Each meeting lasts from 11am to 2.30pm at each venue, with intermediaries free to drop in at any time during those hours.
The FOS will provide literature about its work, make presentations, and hold question and answer sessions during the meetings, Cresswell says.
For further information telephone 020-7964-1400, or email [email protected]
|21 July||Nottingham||Welbeck Hotel, Talbot Street|
|28 July||Bristol||Holiday Inn, Victoria Street|
|5 August||Manchester||Thistle Manchester, Portland Street|
|18 August||Norwich||Ramada Jarvis, Boundary Road|
|21 August||Birmingham||Novotel, Broad Street|
|28 August||Glasgow||Ramada Jarvis, Ingram Street|
|26 August||York||Novotel, Fishergate|
|25 September||Southampton||Novotel, West Quay Road|
|29 September||Newcastle||Jury Inn, Scotswood Road|
|2 October||Cardiff||Thistle Cardiff, Park Place|
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