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FSA and Ombudsman to implement improved procedures

The Financial Services Authority and the Financial Ombudsman Service have published updated procedures for handling complaints to the ombudsman service which may have wider regulatory implications for firms and consumers.

The new arrangements are designed to clarify the different roles and responsibilities of the FSA and the ombudsman service when ‘wider implications’ issues arise; improve the identification and handling process for such cases at both the FSA and the ombudsman service; enhance co-operation on cases between the two agencies; and improve the overall transparency of the process.

Under the new procedures the FSA and the ombudsman service will have nominated individuals within both organisations who will act as contact points for wider implications cases and be responsible for communication, liaison and co-ordination.

They will be available to receive recommendations from firms, trade bodies and consumer bodies, and liaise between the FSA and the ombudsman service in order to ensure that the referral process and any feedback is administered efficiently.

The FSA and the ombudsman service do not propose to recommend to the Government to bring in legislation to introduce an external appeals mechanism. The FSA says the decision responds to feedback to last years consultation paper on wider implications (CP 04/12) which looked at the legal and practical issues involved in introducing an external appeals system that would operate after an Ombudsman decision.

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