The Financial Ombudsman is an organization set up by Parliament. It was created to help ‘sort out’ problems and disputes that might arise when using financial services in the UK.

If they decide that someone has been treated unfairly, then they have legal powers to ‘put things right’.

In 2017, more than two million people contacted the Financial Ombudsman with problems relating to everything from bank accounts, credit and debit and store cards right the way through to pensions, savings, investments and car loans! More recently, many PPI claims have been dealt with by the Financial Ombudsman.

The Financial Ombudsman can handle a wide variety of complaints relating to financial services but there are strict rules, especially time limits, relating to what they can and cannot deal with and adjudicate upon, so it is worth checking with them to make sure they can help you.

If they uphold a complaint, they can tell the business involved to compensate the consumer for losses of up to £150,000 (£100,000 for complaints we received before 1 January 2012). However, in most cases the amounts involved are much smaller.

The Financial Ombudsman’s service does not punish or fine financial services businesses or regulate such businesses to make sure they follow the rules. This is the job of the regulator, known as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

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