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FOS to boost staff by a third as costs soar

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The Financial Ombudsman Service is planning to boost its staff numbers from 1,890 to 2,545 over the next year, as its forecasts a 75 per cent hike in its operating costs.

The FOS published its annual consultation on its plan and budget for 2012/13 today.

It reveals the FOS’ plans to increase staff numbers by 35 per cent with the recruitment of an additional 655 staff during the course of the financial year.

The number of ombudsmen is set to increase from 90 to 125, while the number of frontline customer contact staff will go from 150 to 220.

Those working in casework divisions, including adjudicators, will increase from 1,490 to 2,000, and support staff will rise from 150 to 200.

The FOS has seen a surge in the number of payment protection insurance complaints, which it expects to continue over the next year.

At the same it has experienced significantly higher levels of staff turnover, as banks poached FOS contractors to handle their own PPI complaints.

The FOS says: “We have found it challenging to compete against the remuneration packages offered by some of those businesses.

“The higher levels of adjudicator turnover during 2011/12 as a result of this have added to our recruitment and operational challenges.”

Over 80 per cent of FOS costs relate to staffing. In 2012/13 staffing costs are expected to total £149.4m.

The overall FOS budget is set to jump from £113.1m for 2011/12 to £197.6m for 2012/13.

The FOS is funded by a mixture of case fees and an industry levy. The £500 case fee is charged to businesses on the fourth and any subsequent case referred to the FOS during the year.

The FOS has frozen both the £500 case fee and the industry levy for the third year in a row. However it says given the expected rising costs and inflationary pressures it is likely case fees will increase from 2012/13.

Separately, the FOS is also consulting on whether to make radical changes to its case fee structure which would see the “free case” limit increase from three to 25 per year from April 2013.

Network members will continue to be liable for case fees as the free cases will apply to the network as a whole.

For the 10 financial groups that make up over 70 per cent of the FOS’ workload, the ombudsman is proposing a new group account arrangement to align costs with the firms that generate the most complaints.


Table on forecasted number of FOS staff taken from FOS plan and budget for 2012/13:

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Readers' comments (20)

  • Scandalous, truly scandalous!

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  • 75%!!!! lost for words.........

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  • 2,545 Staff????!!!!

    Yet more fees to fund yet more over paid plonkers to sit in expensive offices in expensive locations playing with themselves and spewing out meaningless drivel!

    If the other set of idiots at Canary Wharf weren't asleep most of the time, the size and scope of the FSCS could be halved rather than doubled.

    This is SO, SO, SO, depressing.

    Must go, I've got to find something to kick!

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  • The FSA and FOS etc., must hit those that cause the biggest problems with the biggest fees. We are only a small IFA, but never have received a complaint or been involved with Key Data, Lehmans etc. so why should I contibute to their failures and to those companies who go belly up and then reincarnate themselves under a new name. Hang on, this strikes a cord, the FSA are doing this and therefore any old failures of theirs will not be laid at their door and the overpaid top dogs keep dragging their nose in the trough.

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  • Giz a job !!!

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  • These figures mean that the average employee at the FOS receives over £80,000 pa.
    Has anyone thought of doing a cost/benefit analysis?

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  • Yet more money down the drain from the industry to pay for even more people to put more small firms out of business - where is this going to end !

    Looks like the FOS have taken a leaf out of the FSA book, create more work for themselves, employ more people to justify bigger salaries and get the industry mugs to pay for it all !!

    What a gravy train !!

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  • So a 35% increase in staffing results in 75% increase in costs. Sounds as if some large bonuses are being allowed for. Glad I'm retiring at the end of the year.

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  • " its forecasts a 75 per cent hike in its operating costs"

    I'm appalled by this. They are taking the proverbial!

    I'm going to apply for a job with them.

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  • Surely there is somethong wrong with this industry? Why cant we get our MP's etc involved? What benefit the MAS serve? With so much regulation, if the FOS is being beefed up, there is some problem? This country is doomed, if we do not wake up. The FSA has slowed down the housing market, the economy is being hurt, banks are in a crisis, Advisers are being put out of business, the FOS is creating more jobs to be paid by whom? God Help us!

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