1,000 fewer advice firms receive FOS complaints

Caroline Wayman FOS

The number of advice firms that have received complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service has fallen by more than a thousand in the last three years.

A Freedom of Information Act request from Money Marketing shows that in the 2013/14 financial year, 3,573 advice firms received complaints at the FOS. This fell to 2,889 in 2014/15, before falling again to 2,507 in 2015/16.

The FOS was not able to calculate the number and value of any redress payments ordered however.

It was also unable to calculate the length of time it takes firms to calculate redress, how long they take to return compensation once they have calculated, or the value of any compensation payments currently outstanding.

The response reads: “The Financial Ombudsman Service provides a business with guidelines as to how they should pay compensation back to a consumer, but does not take part in the calculation or process of this compensation being paid back. We normally advise a consumer that it can take between four to eight weeks for a business to pay them their compensation.”

The latest FOS data shows that Sesame received the most complaints between January and June this year, and had nearly a quarter of its 160 complaints upheld. Openwork and St James’ Place came in second a third place with 80 and 58 complaints respectively.

FOS only publishes data for firms who receive 30 new cases and close 30 cases in a six-month reporting period.