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‘Pressure forces FOS into wrong decisions’

A whistleblowing ex-Financial Ombudsman Service adjudicator says the “immense pressure” being placed on FOS staff to hit targets is resulting in wrong decisions being made.

Former adjudicator Jane Sanders, who left the FOS in January after working there for 15 months, says the amount of work for adjudicators is affecting the quality of the decisions.

She says there are only a small number of FOS managers who supervise the adjudicator so many decisions are not being properly assessed before being sent out to firms and complainants.

Sanders says the adjudicators have strict rules to follow but it is difficult to enforce them in such a big organisation.

She quit the organisation because she was unhappy with the way the FOS handles its adjudication process. She says: “You cannot produce quality work in the volume they expect to a standard that is fair and just.

“The impetus is on each person to take responsibility for their own actions but once a decision has gone out to a firm or a complainant, it is gone. It is only if you find that mistake you can rectify it. If an adjudicator thinks that they are doing their job really well and their decision does not go through the quality checking that month, nobody would ever know.”

An FOS spokesman says: “Adjudicator decisions are not final and firms can refer cases to an ombudsman for consideration if they are not happy with the outcome.”

Facts & Figures Financial Planners Limited managing director Simon Webster says: “I am not surprised by these allegations. It is nice to have confirmed from the inside what many of us have suspected for years.”

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  1. Does anyone know of a way to enforce the decision made by an Adjudicator where both the complainant and the Firm agree and have confirmed in writing their acceptance of the decision – hence no need for a referral to the Ombudsman – yet where the Firm involved then sit on the matter and fail to comply with the agreement ? The Adjudicator meanwhile is desperate to refer the matter on as he does not wish to deal with this.

    Thank you

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