An appeals process for financial services firms should not be added the current Financial Ombudsman Services complaints procedure, suggests the Treasury Select Committee, as it would counter the original intention to create a "speedy, fair and inexpensive" system.
Following feedback from the industry concerning the FOS, TSC members said, in today’s report on long-term savings, said consumer groups were opposed to any general right of appeal against FOS decisions because “it risks undermining confidence in a system which is currently working well”.
“While there may be scope to improve co-ordination between the FSA and FOS in certain cases with wide implications, the Committee believes that calls for a general appeals process should be resisted,” continues the report.
In particular, representatives from the Financial Services Consumer Panel told the TSC an appeals process would lead to firms “further dragging their feet in paying compensation to consumers” while the Consumers’ Association suggested any right of appeal for some companies “will just tie the Ombudsman up in knots for years and it will cause a reduction in the Ombudsman’s efficiency”.
Such a statement from the TSC is likely to disappoint many IFAs who believe some form of appeals process should have been the original set-up under European law.IFAonline
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