Advisers have slammed the Financial Ombudsman Service for spending over £3,000 on an exhibit at The Gadget Show Live, saying the event is “irrelevant” and a waste of industry funds.
This year’s Gadget Show Live event, which was held at the NEC in Birmingham last week, is described by organisers as the UK’s biggest consumer electronics event.
The FOS paid £3,467 to attend the event this year and confirmed it has paid for a stand at the event for the last three years as part of its work to raise awareness about the ombudsman service.
The FOS says it has a total budget for external events of £50,000 for 2011/12.
Philip J Milton & Company managing director Philip Milton, who attended the event, says: “It is totally inappropriate for the FOS to be taking space at The Gadget Show Live. The FOS is unrelated to anything you would find at that event.” The FOS says its work to raise awareness of the service picks up on findings by Lord Hunt’s 2008 independent review, which said a key part of the FOS’s role is to be open and accessible to all consumers.
An FOS spokeswoman says: “The Gadget Show Live is one of the largest events in Europe and a key place to raise awareness with people who might not be aware of where to turn if they have a problem.”
Yellowtail Financial Planning managing director Dennis Hall says: “The industry, which pays for the FOS, is being squeezed and the FOS seems to treat its funding as a bottomless pit.”