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FOS information request time limit cut to 14 days

The Financial Ombudsman Service is reducing the time limit for firms to respond to requests for information from 21 days to 14 days.

The FOS says it recognises that the change might “cause short-term difficulties for some businesses” but it insists moving to shorter timescales will improve its service.

The latest Ombudsman News states: “Most of the information we request from financial businesses is routine. Typically, it is the same information that the business would have considered when it iss-ued its final decision on the consumer’s complaint. If we need new or unusual information, we may give more time for a response.

“We reserve the right to progress the case to the next stage of our process, including to a final ombudsman decision, if a financial business or a consumer continues to delay responding to us.”

A FOS spokesman says the change is likely to be in place “within the next month”.

Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says: “If firms are not able to get information back to the FOS in 14 days, you have to wonder about their record-keeping or the availability of their files.

But it may be unreasonable to expect information to be supplied that quickly if the request is excessive.”


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Spare a thought for the retired IFA. Declared Persona non grata by the new Chief Ombudsman(woman)?

  2. Spare a thought for the retired IFA. Declared Persona non grata by the new Chief Ombudsman(woman)?

  3. Complaint Handler - East Anglia 5th May 2010 at 4:10 pm

    Amazing. DPA states 40 days for file requests. FOS can obviously make its own rules. Not all of us can just press a button and send an electronic file winging its way to FOS. For some it’s the drudge of the photocopier with no-one to do it but you. Not for us the ability to take on, what was it – 300 extra staff?

  4. Incompetent Regulators Awards Team 5th May 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Oh yeh! One rule for them and one for us. They give us deadlines for responses which sometime are unfair and then we wait for months on end. I am still waiting 9 months fro an answer regarding the FOS circumventing the law with SI2326. Even their legal advisers have given up!

  5. Gilllian Cardy 5th May 2010 at 4:55 pm

    This change would be more palatable if FOS replied to complaint correspondence (“improving their service standards”) within similar time limits.
    I objected more to an insistence on 21 days (bearing in mind that I recall it being “from the date of this letter” sent on a Friday!!) when they could then take several months for the next letter to emerge …
    I take the point about file-keeping – but what about their files??

  6. Spare a thought for the retired IFA. Declared Persona non grata by the new Chief Ombudsman(woman)?

  7. This is all well and good but it has to work both ways.

    Is the FOS saying that advisers are causing delays and that this 7 day reduction will make a difference?

    I have a case with the FOS that has been stewing since February 2009. It is actually a simple matter that the average 12 year old could have resolved during the commercial break in Coronation Street.

    The FOS is the Augean Stables of the financial services world and needs a good clean up.

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