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FOS hits out at firms’ ‘disappointing’ complaint handling

Natalie Ceeney FOS 480

Financial Ombudsman Service chief executive Natalie Ceeney has hit out at the “disappointing” treatment of customers who complain to financial services firms.

Speaking at a fringe event on rebuilding trust after PPI at the Labour conference in Manchester today, Ceeney said firms must stop treating people who complain as “problems”.

She said: “It is quite disappointing at FOS to see how people who complain are treated. We all know a lot has gone wrong. In the 250,000 complaints we have had around PPI, we have found in favour of consumers eight times out of 10. But if you read the press at the moment then you read about a compensation culture, consumers trying it on or rip-off Britain.

“Actually, the lesson we are seeing is that people were justified in complaining and you do not see evidence that people are trying their luck. We deal with more than a million customers a year and we have the power to say no to those that are trying it on and being vexatious. We find that in less than 1 per cent of cases that is the case.

“The best firms treat complaints as insight and an opportunity to put things right that have gone wrong. I would like that to be the way financial services treats everyone.”

Last week, FSA figures showed complaints against advisers jumped 27 per cent between 1 January and 30 June to 27,525.


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There are 6 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Funny though we’ve not seen FOS find in our favour once, oh I tell a lie on one occasion they found against us and suggested we should have made an alternative recoimmendation. When I pointed out that the alternative recommendation that FOS were suggesting we should have given was in fact a breach of HMRC Pension legislation they changed their mind and found in our favour.
    They certainly don’t reject 2 out of 10 of our cases.

  2. David Trenner - Intelligent Pensions 1st October 2012 at 5:54 pm

    “We deal with more than a million customers a year and we have the power to say no to those that are trying it on and being vexatious. We find that in less than 1 per cent of cases that is the case.”

    In case anyone thought they were impartial!!

  3. So is this an industry wide policy condemnation based around the handling of one product by the Banking Sector.
    I don’t think the FOS are a good organisation, based on the colour of Ms Ceeney’s lipstick.
    Do the Regulators ever engage brain before opening mouth?

  4. The topic of the speech was ‘rebuilding trust after PPI’, therefore using PPI figures does not seem unreasonable.

    Gosh – could MM be trying to stir up a response in the way the presented the article?

  5. Thieves in suits 2nd October 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Good for the FOS but stuff regulation! It should be buyer beware with the whole lot of you. I’d feel more comfortable dealing with a bookie or a second hand car salesman than a bank, a Life Office or an IFA.


  6. Ironic, as my wife and I are currently complaining about the FOS for their treatment of us, with our complaint about Barclays.

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