The Association of Financial Mutuals believes the Financial Ombudsman Service is rushing through some cases without proper consideration.
AFM chief executive Martin Shaw says the ombudsman is operating outside of the rules.
He says: “The FSMA and the FSA rulebook say the ombudsman should give a fair and impartial service arbitrating on complaints. We are seeing some short-cutting of that fair process to try to get through cases quickly. The ombudsman looks at how it resolved similar complaints in an effort to speed up the process instead of treating each case on its merits and investigating thoroughly.”
Last month, Shaw called for the ombudsman to be made a formal subsidiary of the Financial Conduct Authority, saying it would increase accountability and improve its operation.
An FOS spokesman says fewer than 200 cases out of the 200,000 received by the ombudsman last year were about friendly societies and adds the service considers each case on its merits.
He says: “The ombudsman looks at complaints thoroughly, considering the specific circumstances of each case as we are required to do by law.”
Positive Solutions certified financial planner Aj Somal says: “The ombudsman, like everyone, is probably looking for ways to make efficiencies.”