The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the new complaints service for the whole of the financial ser...
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), the new complaints service for the whole of the financial services sector, is running a series of workshops in Britain's secondary financial centres to introduce itself to intermediaries.
The service, created under the Financial Services and Markets Act, is in the process of drawing together the PIA, the banking, insurance and investment ombudsmen and four other regulatory organisations.
According to David Cresswell, head of communications at the new service, the workshops are designed to give IFAs the chance to meet and question FOS liaison officers.
A workshop is to be held in Exeter on 22 September at the Thistle Hotel and another will be held in Liverpool at the Liverpool Moathouse on 1 December. Further dates are planned for Cardiff, Belfast, Leeds, Newcastle, Perth and Birmingham, although details have not yet been finalised.
Cresswell said the FOS intends to develop a more proactive and supportive role than previous ombudsman services and the workshops are part of the process of dispelling the negative view that many IFAs have of ombudsmen.
Plans are also underway for a quarterly publication to be sent to intermediaries detailing procedures and actual examples of complaints are taken and how they are dealt with.
Cresswell said: "We will be writing to all IFAs in the relevant post code regions in the month before each workshop to let them know that this is happening. We are keen to show IFAs that we do want to have far greater contact with them. We don't want to be seen as an ogre that they should avoid at all costs which they only meet when a complaint is made."
The FOS will have a sub-division manned by former PIA staff dedicated entirely to resolving investment-related complaints. The principle ombudsmen are Tony Holland and Jane Whittles.
Intermediaries interested in the FOS workshops, or who want to find out more about the FOS should call the liaison team on 020 7964 1400.
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