Six out of 13 complaints from firms about the Financial Ombudsman Service (Fos) were upheld by an independent assessor in 2005/06.
As part of the Fos’s Annual Review, an independent assessor has carried out a review of cases where a consumer or a firm has already referred the matter to the review team for investigation but remains dissatisfied.
The assessor, Michael Barnes CBE, upheld six out of the 13 complaints he received from firms, most of which were IFAs or stockbrokers.
Roughly half the complaints related to case fees where the complaint had subsequently been dismissed without consideration of the merits or had deemed to be outside the ombudsman’s jurisdiction.
But there was only one case where Barnes considered the £360 case fee should be refunded in full.
He states: “This is because it is often only after a case has been passed for assessment – thereby triggering the case fee – that it becomes clear that the complaint is not the one that the ombudsman service can investigate.”
Overall, Barnes upheld complaints about the Fos, either wholly or in part, in 76 cases compared with 58 cases the previous year.
In 68 of the 76 complaints he recommended the Fos pay compensation for distress or inconvenience caused to the complainant.
The amount of compensation recommended ranged from £50 to £750 with most awards falling between £200 and £400.
In 31 of these cases the review team had already offered apologies or compensation but Barnes took the view additional compensation was required.
The most common cause of complaint was about delays, followed by allegations of unfair treatment and poor service.
If you have any comments you would like to add to this story or would like to speak to its author about a similar subject, telephone Emily Perryman on 020 7968 4554 or email [email protected].IFAonline
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