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Call for evidence in FOS probe

The independent review of the Financial Ombudsman Service will investigate if a court-like process for investigating complaints would improve the way that the FOS operates.
Lord Hunt of Wirral published his call for evidence this week, outlining the scope of the review, including whether a court-like process would work, whether details of individual cases should be made public and if improvements can be made to the information that the FOS releases regarding its processes.

The document asks whether the FOS should align its practices with those of the legal profession.

It says: “There is scope for debate about how far a more court-like process would aid transparency and thus boost confidence or, alternatively, add cost and delay and be perceived as less acc- essible by at least some consumers”.

The call for evidence highlights the tension between giving greater transparency to allow consumers and businesses better insight into the FOS and worries about avoiding prescription in a process where the FOS applies principle-based regulation.

The Hunt review will inv-estigate how the FOS can improve the communication of its policies with the industry and consumers.

Lord Hunt aims to report to the FOS in the first quarter of next year.

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