The Financial Ombudsman Service will publish the details of 400 upheld complaints a week when it starts making decisions public under the new regulatory framework, according to law firm CMS Cameron McKenna.
The draft Financial Services Bill, published in June, sets out the Government’s intention to require the FOS to publish final decisions. The FOS is consulting on how this should be put into practice, with final policy expected next year.
Speaking at the Personal Finance Society annual conference in Birmingham last week, CMS Cameron McKenna partner Simon Morris said the decisions published by the FOS will provide a standard for firms to measure themselves against.
He said: “It is likely that in 18 months time, the FOS will publish every single case that is upheld and it is thought there will be about 400 a week. Anybody in a larger firm will have to hire a full-time person whose job will be to look at the ombudsman’s website and the 80 upheld complaints that have come out that day and see what those complaints have to say about how firms handle complaints.”
Morris said as firms will have to increasingly report more details about complaints to the Financial Conduct Authority, they will have to pay close attention to the transparency of their complaint-handling processes.
Final rules on complaint data, published by the FSA last week, require firms to log upheld complaints that relate to redress of £50,000 or more against advisers’ individual reference number.
Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “Firms with larger levels of complaints would want to monitor FOS decisions but presumably they should be monitoring their own complaint data to see where they can improve anyway.”