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Fos criticises lenders over debt agencies

The Financial Ombudsman Service has hit out at lenders which insist on involving a debt advice agency with customers who are experiencing financial hardship, even when this is not what the client needs.

In its latest newsletter, the FOS says that insisting on involving debt advice agencies may not be “in anyone’s interests and it may even delay progress in obtaining a speedy resolution to the problem”.

The appropriate way forward, says the FOS, is to tailor a “package” of suitable measures to meet the consumer’s individual needs.

FOS interim chief ombudsman David Thomas says: “Consumers who are already in financial hardship are more than usually vulnerable to the knock-on effect to their finances of poor administration by the lender.

“It is important that, having agreed on a course of action with the consumer, lenders take particular care to record and administer the arrangements correctly.”

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