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information for businesses covered by the ombudsman service

This section answers a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:

how we decide cases

our knowledge and experience

how can I be sure the person who decides my case knows and understands financial services as well as I do?

The technical, academic and professional qualifications of our adjudicators and ombudsmen are as varied as the work we cover.

The backgrounds of our staff are similarly varied. We have accountants and lawyers working for us as well as former IFAs, insurance and mortgage brokers, bankers, trading standards officers and stockbrokers.

Our job is not to give financial advice, underwrite insurance policies or carry out banking transactions. Our staff are appointed to settle disputes - and we require the relevant qualifications and experience for the jobs we need to do this. We set high standards of professionalism, providing comprehensive training on core skills and technical knowledge.

However, what makes a good adjudicator or ombudsman is more than just letters after their name. It is the ability to stand back and listen to all sides of the story - to weigh up the arguments and arrive at decisions fairly and impartially. This is also true for judges and magistrates - who similarly don't need to list their qualifications to demonstrate their ability to do the job.