The FCA has survived a complaint that it has failed in its duty to oversee the Financial Ombudsman Service.
A complainant took their case to the FCA after saying that the regulator had not lived up to its statutory responsibility to make sure that FOS is capable of performing its duties, and has ignored evidence of systemic failings.
The FCA originally rejected the complaint because it felt it was about the actions or inactions of FOS and not the regulator itself.
The Complaints Commissioner’s ruling released today says that while the FCA was wrong to exclude the query from its complaints scheme, the issues raised “did not amount to systemic issues justifying FCA intervention”.
The FCA is currently in charge of FOS board appointments, budget approvals, and has a board sub-committee that meets with FOS three or four times a year to produce a report.
The FCA has acknowledged the exclusion was made in error.
The Complaints Commissioner suggested to the complainant that they could take up further concerns with the Treasury committee of MPs if they wished.
The ruling reads: “In your original letter to the FCA, you complained that individual ombudsmen were unaccountable – but it is a feature of the scheme that the ombudsman’s decision is final. Some of your complaint seems to me to be about constitutional issues which are not within the FCA’s control: they should be addressed to the Government or Parliament.”
FOS chief executive Caroline Wayman is due to give evidence to MPs on the Treasury committee on 15 January for a session on the service’s work.