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A third of FOS staff on temporary contracts

Almost a third of the Financial Ombudsman Service’s 2,500 staff have been hired on a temporary basis, including 19 ombudsmen who were paid a fee for each completed case.

A freedom of information request, submitted by Highclere Financial Services, found that between 6 December 2011 and 5 December 2012, the FOS employed 794 temporary staff.

Of those, 351 were contractors in various “professional roles”, of which 175 were case handlers. A further 19 were fee-paid ombudsmen, who were paid according to the number of financial decisions they issued.

The remaining temporary staff were assigned to administrative work.

The FOS says fee-paid ombudsmen are given a set number of cases to complete and they are not allocated additional cases if they complete their workload early.

It refused to disclose the salaries and case fees for temporary staff.

A breakdown of the 175 case handlers shows 135 were assigned to payment protection insurance complaints, 29 were assigned to mortgages complaints and 11 to banking complaints.

The FOS’ plan and budget for 2013/14, published last week, reveals staff and staff-related costs hit £83.1m in 2011/12, and are forecast to rise to £127.7m by the end of 2012/13 and to £198.4m for 2013/14.

A spokeswoman says: “Hiring temporary staff gives us flexibility in managing our staff levels and our finances.”

Highclere partner Alan Lakey says: “My main concern with these figures is the capability of FOS staff when so many are temporary. Advisers have no right of appeal against the judgments FOS makes, the least I expect is capable staff.”

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Comments

There are 4 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I’m not susurprised FOS don’t want to disclose these figures, I don’t know how much they are paying now but I can tell you as a matter of fact it’s in the region of 200/220 per day for a case handler, what fos pays is more in gross to cover their agency taking their cut before, those who train case handlers get more, same for those who check their work, their team leaders and so on and so forth, then multiply it by 794 of contractors, add other consultancy firms involved in their management….more likely to be a big 4 firm and you’ll reach a mind boggling sum for one days work alone.

    Thinking about it, I might consider packing in this IFA malarky and it’s RDRs and FCAs….etc and switch sides, can’t beat them join them as the saying goes.

  2. How can any employer expact any quality or loyalty from people who don’t know from one date to the next if they have a job ? Temporary contracts are the new slavery !!

  3. RegulatorSaurusRex 30th January 2013 at 1:14 pm

    I wouldn’t mind if all the contractors were allowed to use their own expert judgement but they invariably follow a decision tree and standard paragraphs which all comply with company ‘policy’.

    Might as well use chimps.

    BTW, a fair few of the contractors (and FOS staff) are former advisers of one kind or another.

  4. As an,ex IFA and ex FOS contractor, I must say that 220 a day (or 130 per case if I recall correctly) isn’t that great money. Bear in mind that’s your gross rate and your right in the city, where the average salary probably dwarfs that.

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