The Financial Ombudsman Service is failing to take adviser evidence into account in around a third of cases, according to Apfa research.
Responding to a survey carried out by the trade body, 34 per cent of advisers that have had a complaint referred to the FOS said the ruling did not take their evidence into account.
Some 8 per cent of advisers also reported the reasoning for a ruling was not always provided while around one in five said a complaint against them had been referred to the FOS in the last three years.
Of the complaints that were ref-erred to the FOS, 47 per cent said most cases were found in their fav-our while 26 per cent said most were found in the complainant’s favour.
Some 8 per cent said they had had an equal number of each outcome and 18 per cent either did not know or the case was still being investigated.
Apfa director general Chris Hannant says: “While it is positive to see that only a small number of advisers have had complaints referred to the FOS, it is worrying advisers feel the Ombudsman does not value the evidence they provide.
“This issue may only be affecting a small number of advisers but it is nonetheless an important one. Adv-isers put a lot of time and effort into responding to complaints and presenting evidence to the FOS and the ombudsman should take this into account when ruling on cases. In addition, if advisers do not understand the reasoning behind the FOS’s decision, they cannot do anything to ensure similar issues do not arise in the future.
“If the FOS is disregarding advisers’ evidence, it needs to provide a valid reason for doing so, otherwise it must clearly demonstrate that the evidence has been considered and explain the reasons behind all its
“We will continue to monitor the situation and keep this issue in front of the ombudsman.”
A FOS spokesman says: “In every case we investigate, we consider the evidence provided by both parties before reaching a decision of what we think is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.”
The survey was conducted among 216 advisers in April.