The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has hired trend forecaster the Future Foundation to conduct a review of the ombudsman's role in the changing world of financial services.
The external review, which is budgeted at up to £200,000, is looking at the future of financial services, the way consumers will behave in the future and the ombudsman's role within that.
The theme was borne out of the changing nature of financial services, and aims to gain an insight into where the industry might be heading, the FOS said.
It is the fourth such review commissioned by the FOS since 2004, and is expected to conclude next year, although the FOS will publish regular updates in the meantime.
The FOS said: "The review goes quite a bit wider than just the financial services sector. The aim is to understand a wide range of current and future changes in areas like technology, consumer expectations and brand management wherever they're happening. That's because even if they're not affecting our work now, they almost certainly will in the future.
"Once the Future Foundation team have done their initial background research, they'll be getting out and about talking to companies, consumer groups and others in our sector and beyond.
"We've also asked them to share and discuss their findings openly with the organisations we work with as they go along. That way, by the time the project is finished, we should have something which is relevant and useful for the financial services sector as well as for us and our stakeholders."
The FOS' triennial reviews are set up by its non-executive board.
So far the FOS has held two internal and one external review, all of which typically lasted three to six months and had a budget of up to £200,000.
The latest one was carried out internally by the National Audit Office in 2011.
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