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information for businesses covered by the ombudsman service

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

our rules & powers

who we answer to

who does the ombudsman service answer to?

We answer to a board of directors. They are appointed by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. The chairman is appointed by the FCA with the approval of HM Treasury.

The chairman and board directors are "non-executive" – they are not involved in considering individual complaints. Their job is to take a strategic overview. They ensure the ombudsman service is properly resourced and able to carry out its functions effectively, impartially and independently – free from any control or influence by those whose disputes we resolve.

The chairman and directors are appointed in the "public interest" – not as individual representatives of any particular group or sector. They are appointed to ensure the board as a whole can draw on a wide range of experience, knowledge and skills.

The directors also form a number of sub-committees of the full board.

The ombudsman service is not a government department or "quango". Nor are we a trade association, a regulator or a consumer champion. We meet the criteria for the recognition of ombudsman offices, as set out by the British and Irish Ombudsman Association (BIOA). These criteria are:

  • independence of the ombudsman from those whom the ombudsman has the power to investigate
  • effectiveness
  • fairness and
  • public accountability.