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Euro rules to give consumers more time to bring FOS complaints

European rules set to be implemented next year will give consumers twice as much time to make a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The FCA flagged the changes in its latest regulatory update, published last week.

Under current FCA rules, when consumers submit a complaint to a firm, they have six months from receiving the firm’s final response to submit a complaint to the FOS.

Consumers also have six years from the event the complaint relates to or, if later, three years from when the consumer knew they had cause to complain.

But under the European alternative dispute resolution directive, consumers will have at least one year to make a complaint to the FOS. Member states have until 9 July 2015 to implement the directive. The FCA says it will consult on the necessary changes to its rules later this year. 

In the update, the FCA says: “We are still considering implementation options but firms should be aware that consumers will have at least one year to refer complaints to the ombudsman service once the directive is implemented and this may apply even to complaints that are made before the implementation date.”

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