The Financial Ombudsman has defended its hiring and training process after a 25-year-old law graduate with no financial services experience was found to have become an adjudicator after just a month's training.
The discovery was made by an IFA whose son is friends with the girl.
A spokesperson for the FOS confirmed it is hiring "heavily" at the moment, but said it takes the selection of its staff "very seriously".
FOS staff have a "wide range of backgrounds, experience and skills", the spokesperson said, including specialist financial qualifications "where appropriate".
Any work the girl completed during the first three months in her role would be overseen and signed-off by an experienced member of staff, they said.
"We have a three month integrated training programme for all new adjudicators. During this time they receive training on technical areas as well as soft skills such as communication," the spokesperson said.
"The work they complete during this period is overseen by an experienced member of staff."
After three months, those adjudicators who meet the appropriate high standards will move into a casework team.
They continue to be mentored individually for at least another three months or longer for more technical areas such as pensions, the FOS said.
"[An] adjudicator's work continues to be assessed, on an ongoing basis, as part of our organisational wide quality assurance framework," according to the spokesperson.
Several advisers have said they will raise the issue of ombudsman and adjudicator qualifications in Freedom of Information requests, since the Service came under the scope of the legislation this month.
The Ombudsman Service currently has about 800 adjudicators.
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