The director of a claims management company has accused the Financial Ombudsman Service of conducting an independent review of its operations “behind closed doors”.
After a series of allegations of poor practice in a Channel 4 documentary, including lack of training for staff, biases among adjudicators and lengthy delays in processing complaints, the FOS agreed to an independent review of its service.
Former Which? director Richard Lloyd conducted the inquiry, and produced his report in July.
Lloyd was unable to find evidence of systemic bias, adding that allegations that thousands of complaints were left unanswered could not be substantiated.
However, he recommended a number of areas for improvement, including making better estimates of future caseloads and costs to improve efficiency, clearer guidance on awards for distress, and educating consumers better on the role of the FOS.
In a letter to the chair of the Treasury select committee of MPs Nicky Morgan published this week, Fairer PPI director Stuart Bonnell claims that the review was not open enough did not consider many criticisms against the service.
Bonnell writes: “We could find no site or way to access the review process. An attempt to contact Mr Lloyd via his twitter account went unanswered. Although Mr Lloyd alludes to ‘service users’ contacting him, he does not quantify nor expand on what evidence he received or used.
“It appears to have taken evidence only from the FOS itself. Given that one of the allegations in the programme was that the FOS stage-managed an earlier visit by a member of the Treasury Select Committee, this is an inherently inadequate review methodology.”