The FCA has confirmed that an EU directive it previously pointed to as a barrier to progress on the long-stop will not stand in the way of a 15-year time limit on complaints.
In July, FCA chief executive Martin Wheatley said that under the alternative dispute resolution directive, a long-stop may be deemed a constraint on human rights.
He said that until issues with the directive had been resolved, talks on the long-stop could not “move forward”.
Money Marketing later revealed experts had slammed the claim as a “flight of fancy”, and argued there was nothing in the rules to prevent the introduction of a long-stop on complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
In amendments to the implementation of the directive published today, the FCA says the way it proposes to implement the rules would not preclude the introduction of a long-stop.
It says discussions on whether or not to introduce a long-stop are ongoing and it will publish the outcome of its review “in due course”.
In the FCA’s 2014/15 business plan, published in March, the regulator said it would consider the case for a 15-year long stop.
The FCA has also announced today that it will not implement the directive’s proposal to increase the time limit consumers have to complain to the FOS.
The directive proposed giving consumers one year, rather than six months, from receiving a firm’s final decision to submit a complaint to the FOS.
The FCA says it believes the current six-month time limit will comply with the directive, providing it gives firms the option to allow the FOS to consider complaints beyond that.
It will be down to firms to decide whether they will allow the FOS to consider a complaint beyond six months – but once they have given consent in a particular case they cannot withdraw it.