Treasury Committee has “concerns” with Financial Ombudsman Service
29 January 2021
Following the Treasury Committee’s evidence session with the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) on 9 November 2020, Rt Hon. Mel Stride MP, Chair of the Treasury Committee, wrote to Caroline Wayman, Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman at FOS.
- Mr Stride to Ms Wayman – 20 November 2020
- Ms Wayman to Mr Stride – 10 December 2020
- Mr Stride to Ms Wayman – 4 January 2021
- Ms Wayman to Mr Stride – 22 January 2021
- Inquiry: Work of the Financial Ombudsman Service
- Treasury Committee
Following Ms Wayman’s response, Mr Stride wrote a further letter to follow up some points, including:
- The FOS’ proposed budget and funding proposals
- How case handling times and costs will be reduced, whilst ensuring that cases are handled well
- The strategy to reduce the backlog of cases that have not yet been allocated or resolved
- The timescales for how long each stage of a case should take
Commenting on the correspondence, Mr Stride said:
“The impact of coronavirus appears to have had a significant impact on the effectiveness of the FOS, with over 56,000 cases open for more than six months and over 23,000 open for more than two years.
“As the Committee expressed in our recent evidence session, there are concerns about the FOS’ budget. It costs the FOS on average £960 to resolve a case, against the case fee of £650, and it’s funding its expenditure through its reserves.
“The Committee will want to explore these and other issues in detail around the time that the FOS publishes its final budget in the spring. We will be inviting Ms Wayman and Baroness Manzoor, FOS Chair, to provide evidence.”
Image: Parliamentary copyright