Is the Financial Ombudsman Really Impartial?
GLASGOW, Scotland, October 12, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
We are all aware that the Financial Ombudsman is supposed to be an impartial service for both consumers and the Financial Services industry but is this really the case or has the current economic climate started to affect its judgement?
We will look closely at some of the issues consumers are experiencing with their cases and how the Financial Ombudsman has recruited staff in the past and let you decide if the service it provides is impartial or not.
The complaints that the Financial Ombudsman deals with include PPI claims, mortgage claims, pension and investment claims. We will look at these areas in more detail later in the article.
Do you think if someone reviewing your case once worked or still worked in the Financial Services industry, they would treat your case impartially?
Our opinion on this matter is "No" and we firmly believe that this is a major issue for the public when getting their cases assessed.
We will now look at some cases that have not been upheld by the Ombudsman and you can then decide if the decision has been impartial or not.
One thing we will highlight on this subject is that client cases we have submitted and had rejected by the Financial Ombudsman have not been overturned on appeal, which again raises serious questions of impartiality.
We would now like to give an example of a PPI complaint submitted to the Financial Ombudsman:
A client submits his PPI complaint to the provider, who refuses to pay out. He then submits it to the Financial Ombudsman, who also does not uphold the complaint. The client then contacts Money and Me Claims for further assistance and after discussions it is discovered that the client has a pre- existing medical condition. We then appeal the decision based on this new information and it is of no great surprise that the Financial Ombudsman still does not uphold the decision.
The big factor in this case is the Financial Ombudsman has made no attempt to find out if this was an exclusion on the policy. If that is the case, how can they make an impartial decision without this information? Has the client been let down by the service or is the Ombudsman correct?
You have to decide whether this is in the best interests of the client, but if this is anything to go by then people who are submitting PPI reclaims to the Financial Ombudsman need to understand that the Ombudsman will not check what is excluded or included in your PPI policy.
The next case we will look at is a pension case that has not been upheld by the Ombudsman. After reading the information you can make up your own mind whether the decision is fair and impartial:
A pension complaint is submitted to the Ombudsman. This involves the transfer from a final salary pension scheme to a Personal Pension. At maturity, it is clear the client is worse off and the pension provider has admitted losing important documents within the client file. The complaint is not upheld which means the Ombudsman is endorsing breaches of the Data Protection Act when making decisions. More importantly, it looks like it is favouring the provider who has lost important documents. Do you think this is a fair assessment? We think not, but we will await the final decision as the case has had to go to appeal.
Finally, let's look at a few mortgage examples and you can then make the decision if the service provided by the Ombudsman is impartial or not:
The FSA are very clear and have fined companies for lending into retirement without proper consideration for the client's financial position in retirement. We have had cases where the Ombudsman has not upheld the complaint where lending into retirement has taken place.
The FSA are very clear on consolidating unsecured debt into secured debt, but again the Financial Ombudsman has not upheld complaints based on this. In the majority of cases, a client takes unsecured borrowing over a term of between 1-5 years, but if added to a mortgage the term is between 20- 25 years. How can a client not have suffered financial loss under these circumstances, yet the Ombudsman regularly does not uphold complaints based on this?
One thing is for certain, whether you have PPI claims, mortgage claims or any other financial services product you wish to make a claim against, you can rest assured that Money and Me Claims will endeavour to work on your behalf.
SOURCE Money and Me Claims Ltd