Only 461 of 4,191 complaints made against IFAs reached an ombudsman, internal Financial Ombudsman Service figures have revealed.
Once in front of an ombudsman, IFAs' chances are 50:50, with 231 of the 461 cases finding against the IFA. FOS head of communications David Cresswell says 1,676 cases last year were settled in conciliation, recording no outcome. Of the 2,053 that were resolved in adjudication before an ombudsman having to intervene, 1,416 – 69 per cent – were found in favour of the IFA. Cresswell says advocates of an ombudsman appeal process should consider these figures.
He says: “IFAs have a good record in front of us. Even at the final ombudsman stage, a provisional decision gets sent out first and parties have one last chance to petition, so it is intriguing that people are asking for more appeal opportunities.”
Aifa director general Paul Smee says: “This confirms that IFAs' complaint record is good. I would not anticipate any appeal process would need to be extensively used but its existence would greatly increase the accountability of FOS.”