The Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS) has frozen the total levy paid by all financial businesses, and the case fee, at 2009/2010 levels until March 2011.
The case fee will remain at £500 a time, with the industry-wide levy fixed at £19.5m, according to the FOS Corporate Plan and 2010/11 Budget.
Also set to stay the same is the number of free cases available to each business, currently three. Raising the number of free cases would mean increasing the rate of the levy, says the FOS.
"This would benefit those few, mainly large, financial businesses which already take up their existing allocation of free cases - but it would require all financial businesses, including smaller ones, to pay more levy," states the Plan.
Despite the freezes, total costs at the Ombudsman are expected to soar to £113.7m for the period, up from the £96.8m expenditure forecast for 2009/2010.
But the FOS says 80% of its funding will come from case fees. It expects the number of cases it resolves to increase to 210,000 in 2010/2011, up from 165,000 in the current financial period.
The unit cost per case for 2009/10 is expected to be £587, £28 above budget, which the FOS says is due to the increased costs of dealing with the record number of new cases brought on by the recession.
In 2010/11 the FOS expects a fall in costs per case of 8% to £540.
The FOS Plan says: "For 2010/11, we have budgeted to break even. We plan to close significantly more cases, and our 2010/11 budget will increase in line with the additional case fees."
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