The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is to take a tougher stance on consumers and firms which purposefully delay cases.
It says many cases take far too long, because the FOS is offers flexibility over how long disputing parties have to submit relevant information.
As a result of a growing number of delays, which often disadvantage the other party, the FOS says it will crack down on those who take too long to supply information.
"Parties who delay unreasonably will increasingly find that, after giving fair notice, we will decide cases on the basis of what we have actually received - rather than allowing them any further time to supply what we have asked for," the FOS says.
The FOS says it will take account of genuine difficulties from either party in providing information, but says it can no longer allow firms or consumers to unnecessarily delay a case for their own benefit.
Having recruited a further 200 case handlers in recent months, the Ombudsman says it will now focus on resolving cases more quickly, particularly when financial hardship is involved.
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