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December 2007

board appointments

18 December 2007

the Financial Ombudsman Service today announces a number of new appointments to its non-executive board of directors

travel insurance sold along with a holiday to come under FSA and ombudsman, confirms Treasury

18 December 2007

Economic Secretary to the Treasury, Kitty Ussher MP, today confirmed that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is to regulate travel insurance sold along with a holiday from 1 January 2009 - with consumers to be given access to the Financial Ombudsman Service

ombudsman news - issue 66

18 December 2007

includes:

  • complaints involving mortgage intermediaries
  • disputes about the valuation of motor vehicles
  • an article on the wide-ranging types of factual information our casehandlers may need to have at their fingertips when resolving disputes
  • Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, on what could be a "silver lining" to the Northern Rock affair

[issue 66 - PDF version opens in new window]

ombudsman service chairman, Sir Christopher Kelly, appointed as chairman of the Committee on Standards in Public Life

5 December 2007

BBC Working Lunch on banks freezing accounts

4 December 2007
David Cresswell of the ombudsman service interviewed on BBC2 Working Lunch - about the ombudsman approach in disputes involving bank accounts frozen because of suspicious transactions

who's using our website? ...

3 December 2007

latest feedback to our 3-minute online survey shows that:

November 2007

complaints-prevention training for East of England consumer advisers

22 November 2007
our latest training-day for front-line consumer advisers - including trading standards officers, debt advisers and citizens advice workers etc - takes place today in Cambridge in partnership with Bedfordshire Trading Standards

ombudsman at launch of Money Advice Liaison Group's mental health awareness guidelines

21 November 2007

Jane Hingston, lead ombudsman for banking and credit, chairs the 19th annual conference of the Money Advice Liaison Group (MALG) in London - launching the voluntary MALG Mental Health Awareness Guidelines (available to download from the Money Advice Trust's website), aimed at helping consumer advisers, creditors and debt-collecting agencies in their work with consumers with mental health problems who are in financial difficulty

BBC on direct debit disputes and the role of the ombudsman

17 November 2007

David Cresswell, head of communications at the ombudsman service, interviewed on the BBC1 breakfast show about the ombudsman's role in settling disputes involving direct debits [see our regular newsletter, ombudsman news, for more information about the ombudsman's approach to disputes involving the direct debit guarantee and confusion about direct debits and standing orders]

ombudsman at Mortgage Business Expo

14 November 2007
the ombudsman service joins 220 exhibitors at London's Earls Court for the Mortgage Business Expo - the major trade-fair for brokers and financial advisers, covering residential mortgages, commercial property finance, equity release and secured lending

active consumers, complaint data, and payment protection insurance ...

9 November 2007

speech by Tony Boorman, decisions director and principal ombudsman, at the ABI's complaint management seminar

information about the ombudsman service now available in Portuguese

7 November 2007

over 1,000 consumers from 88 countries overseas brought complaints about UK financial services and products to the Financial Ombudsman Service last year - and we handled disputes during the year in 20 languages from Arabic to Vietnamese

October 2007

ombudsman takes part in Money Marketing Live in Manchester

30 October 2007

The ombudsman service joins over 70 exhibitors - covering pensions & savings, investment, mortgages and technology - at one of the key events for people working in financial services in the north of England

Tonight with Trevor McDonald on payment protection insurance (PPI)

26 October 2007

Martin Lewis interviews Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman, about disputes involving payment-protection insurance (PPI) - on ITV's Tonight with Trevor McDonald show

[see our consumer factsheet on payment protection insurance - opens in PDF format]

ombudsman news - issue 65

25 October 2007

includes:

  • a selection of recent case studies involving pet insurance disputes
  • the answers to some of the questions we are often asked about the role and work of our panel of ombudsmen
  • cases showing the diversity of the financial services disputes handled by the ombudsman service - including marine insurance, hire purchase, investment in a film partnership, electronic payment systems, a builder's insurance for liabilities to third parties, credit unions and penny shares; and
  • Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, on the international impact of the Financial Ombudsman Service - both for individual consumers and as a role model for countries that are developing similar redress schemes.

[issue 65 - PDF version opens in new window]

Money Box and the ombudsman

20 October 2007

BBC Radio 4 Money Box interviews:

please spare a few minutes to tell us your views

19 October 2007

complete our 3-minute online survey - on how you rate this website and the ombudsman service in general

Lord Hunt's review of the Financial Ombudsman Service

16 October 2007

following the announcement in September about Lord Hunt's independent review of the Financial Ombudsman Service and its relationship with external stakeholders, Lord Hunt today launches a debate on the openness and accessibility of the ombudsman - and publishes a detailed "call for evidence" report, seeking views and information from stakeholders.

our role in settling consumer-credit disputes

15 October 2007

the latest in our series of quick guides for businesses - giving a brief overview of the complaints procedures that all businesses with a standard consumer-credit licence need to have in place

ZEE and the ombudsman

12 October 2007

the ombudsman service - in partnership with Asian media-network ZEE - continues work to widen awareness in the Asian communities of its impartial role in settling financial disputes
[see our page in the Diwali/Eid issue of ZEE magazine - PDF version opens in new window]

dispute-resolution training for consumer advisers on the South Coast

11 October 2007

our latest training-day for front-line consumer advisers - including trading standards officers, debt advisers and citizens advice workers etc - takes place in Hove on 11 October, in partnership with Brighton and Hove City Council

September 2007

ombudsman at the wedding fair

28 September 2007

meet the ombudsman this weekend at the National Wedding Show (London Earl's Court, 28 to 30 September) - described as the UK's biggest wedding "department-store", with the focus on fashion, food and finance

ombudsmen from six continents

26 September 2007

over 100 ombudsmen and representatives from financial dispute-resolution schemes in 30 countries gather in London this week - for the annual conference of the International Network of Financial Ombudsmen (INFO). Highlights include:

Citizens Advice annual conference in York

25 September 2007

as part of our outreach work with the consumer advice sector, we take part in the Citizens Advice annual conference

applications invited for new non-executive directors of the Financial Ombudsman Service

24 September 2007

BBC on payment-protection insurance and the role of the ombudsman

22 September 2007

David Cresswell of the Financial Ombudsman Service interviewed on the BBC1 breakfast show about disputes involving payment-protection insurance

ombudsman news - issue 64

18 September 2007

includes:

  • a selection of recent banking disputes related to foreign travel
  • travel insurance disputes involving annual and long-term policies
  • an article on our complaints-prevention and outreach work with consumers and the consumer advice sector and
  • Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, on Lord Hunt's review into aspects of our work, including the openness and accessibility of our service to customers and stakeholders

[issue 64 - PDF version opens in new window]

Economic Secretary, Kitty Ussher MP, visits ombudsman service

12 September 2007

ombudsman in Brighton for TUC

10 September 2007

as part of our outreach work with front-line consumer problem-solvers, the ombudsman service is at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) in Brighton this week – meeting employee representatives, union delegates and MPs, and promoting complaints prevention and dispute resolution in financial services

openness and accessibility

6 September 2007

Lord Hunt of Wirral engaged to lead independent review of the Financial Ombudsman Service and its relationship with external stakeholders

dispute-resolution training for consumer advisers in Northern Ireland

6 September 2007

our latest training-day for front-line consumer advisers – including trading standards officers, debt advisers and citizens advice workers etc – takes place in Belfast on 6 September, in partnership with the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

BBC on travel insurance disputes and the ombudsman

1 September 2007

Emma Parker of the Financial Ombudsman Service talks about travel insurance disputes on the BBC1 breakfast show

August 2007

new consumer-factsheet on complaints involving cheques

30 August 2007

we publish the latest in our series of factsheets for consumers - covering a range of subject areas and specialist topics

new pensions ombudsman

24 August 2007

Tony King, lead ombudsman responsible for pensions-related disputes at the Financial Ombudsman Service since 2003, takes up the post of Pensions Ombudsman and Pension Protection Fund Ombudsman from 1 September - ahead of these separate ombudsman schemes combining, to create a single pensions jurisdiction within the Financial Ombudsman Service

ombudsman at Citizens Advice Scotland annual conference

15 August 2007

we take our exhibition stand to meet delegates at Citizens Advice Scotland annual conference at the Edinburgh Conference Centre

are we the Foz?

10 August 2007

abbreviations, acronyms and clarity for consumers

summer school reflections

5 August 2007

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, reflects at the FSA's summer school on the role of the courts and the ombudsman - and their impact on complaints handling by financial services companies

ombudsman on flooding - on Radio 4 You and Yours

1 August 2007

Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman, interviewed on BBC Radio 4 You and Yours - about floods and insurance claims

July 2007

"on the critical list"

28 July 2007

BBC Radio 4's Inside Money interviews chief ombudsman, Walter Merricks, about disputes involving critical illness insurance

ombudsman agrees that High Court "test case" is necessary - to settle legal uncertainty on unauthorised overdraft charges

26 July 2007

ombudsman and younger consumers

26 July 2007

David Cresswell from the ombudsman service talks on BBC Working Lunch - about why younger people don't seem to complain as much as older consumers

ombudsman news - issue 63

25 July 2007

includes:

  • a selection of recent banking, insurance and investment case studies involving young consumers and
  • Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, on why people under 25 seem to have significantly lower levels of general awareness of how to complain - and of their right to come to the ombudsman service - than older people.
[issue 63 - PDF version opens in new window]

essential.com

20 July 2007

www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk is listed in the Daily Mirror as one of "the 101 websites that will help change your life"

dispute-resolution training for consumer advisers in Hull

19 July 2007

our latest regional training-event for front-line consumer advisers – trading standards officers, debt advisers and citizens advice workers etc – takes place in Hull

Law Commission consults on updating insurance contract-law

17 July 2007

ombudsman publishes consultation paper on filling the gaps in its "voluntary" jurisdiction

12 July 2007

the ombudsman service consults on extending its "voluntary" jurisdiction - to be able to offer ombudsman cover to Europe-based businesses for all their financial services activities that would be covered by the ombudsman's "compulsory" jurisdiction if they were carried out from the UK

[PDF version of consultation paper opens in new window]

Financial Services Authority and ombudsman publish consultation paper on changes to the dispute resolution rules

9 July 2007

the FSA and ombudsman are consulting on proposals which seek to make the rules on the jurisdiction and the operation of the ombudsman service clearer, shorter and easier to use

CP07/14: Dispute Resolution: the Complaints sourcebook – Further simplification and minor changes

ombudsman at Institute of Money Advisers' annual conference

5 July 2007

we take our exhibition stand to meet delegates at the annual conference of the Institute of Money Advisers - the professional body for specialist money-advisers providing free debt and money advice to consumers

"myths and truths"

02 July 2007

in his speech at the Association of Finance Brokers (AFB) annual dinner, Sir Christopher Kelly, ombudsman service chairman, dispels some urban myths about the ombudsman service

June 2007

ombudsman beyond boundaries

29 June 2007

visit the ombudsman at Beyond Boundaries Live – the lifestyle and action weekend for disabled people at Sandown Park racecourse on 29 and 30 June

ombudsman launches awareness campaign for younger people

27 June 2007

the ombudsman service launches a youth awareness-campaign at the Trading Standards' Young Consumers of the Year event - aimed at widening awareness across younger age-groups of the ombudsman's impartial role in settling disputes with banks, insurance companies and financial firms

[first time? ... feel small? ... misunderstood? - youth campaign posters open in PDF format]

travel insurance sold along with a holiday - to come under FSA and ombudsman

26 June 2007

the government announces that FSA is to regulate all travel insurance - giving consumers of travel insurance sold along with a holiday access to the Financial Ombudsman Service

ombudsman on BBC show, Don't get Done, get Dom

26 June 2007

chief ombudsman, Walter Merricks, tells TV presenter and consumer campaigner, Dominic Littlewood, how the ombudsman service can help settle insurance disputes

"credit chaos or capable consumers?"

26 June 2007

Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman, takes part in debate on "consumer indebtedness" at the Trading Standards annual conference in Manchester - to be broadcast on Radio 4's You and Yours

ombudsman news - issue 62

20 June 2007

includes:

  • a selection of recent case studies focusing on disputes involving section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974 - where credit-card providers can be jointly liable with retailers and suppliers, if a consumer has a valid claim for misrepresentation or breach of contract;
  • an interview with Caroline Mitchell, lead ombudsman for investment, on the successful approach many smaller businesses are taking towards complaints-handling;
  • a round-up of recent complaints about payment protection insurance; and
  • chief ombudsman, Walter Merricks, on the government's decision to merge the Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service.

[issue 62 - PDF version opens in new window]

ombudsman at BBC Good Homes Live!

12 June 2007

visit the ombudsman exhibition stand at the BBC Good Homes Show - at the NEC Birmingham from 13 to 17 June

combining the Pensions Ombudsman with the Financial Ombudsman Service

5 June 2007

welcoming the findings of an independent review of the organisations involved in the regulation and protection of workplace pensions (Paul Thornton's "institutional review"), minister for pension reform James Purnell today announced that the government would be implementing the review's proposal to combine the Pensions Ombudsman and the Financial Ombudsman Service

dispute-resolution training for consumer advisers in Inverness

4 June 2007

our latest regional training-event for front-line consumer advisers - trading standards officers, debt advisers and citizens advice workers etc - takes place in Inverness on 6 June

May 2007

updated information on the ombudsman service now available in Somali (as well as in 16 other languages)

30 May 2007

ombudsman service publishes annual review of personal finance disputes

22 May 2007

ombudsman at the zoo

18 May 2007

Chester Zoo's conference centre is the venue for our latest regional training-day for professional consumer-advisers – held in partnership with Cheshire Trading Standards

ombudsman takes part in mortgage business expo

16 May 2007

visit our exhibition stand on 16 and 17 May – at the largest mortgage show for finance professionals in the North of England

ombudsman gives evidence to House of Lords' select committee on regulators

8 May 2007

David Thomas, principal ombudsman, gives evidence [PDF version opens in new window] to the House of Lords' select committee on regulators – as part of the finance and pensions panel on consumer issues, involving Citizen's Advice, the Financial Services Consumer Panel and the Financial Ombudsman Service
[additional memorandum by the ombudsman to the committee opens in PDF format]

ombudsman runs training-day for consumer advisers in Aberdeen

1 May 2007

we continue our series of regional events for professional consumer advisers - trading standards officers, money advisers and citizens advice workers etc - with a complaints-handling training day for local front-line problem-solvers in the Aberdeen area

April 2007

ombudsman and financial difficulty in Devon

27 April 2007

ombudsman takes part in consumer debt event – organised jointly by Money Advice Plymouth, Plymouth Citizens Advice Bureau and Plymouth City Council – aimed at helping Devon consumers in financial difficulty

feedback on our budget for 2007/08

27 April 2007

ombudsman news - issue 61

25 April 2007

includes:

  • a welcome from chief ombudsman, Walter Merricks, to the 80,000 businesses holding consumer credit licences - who since 6 April 2007 have been covered by the ombudsman service for their consumer credit activities
  • a selection of recent insurance case studies focusing on "non-disclosure" - and whether this was reckless or "inadvertent"
  • an interview with Stuart King, head of retail intelligence at the FSA and David Thomas, corporate director at the Financial Ombudsman Service, on the FSA's more principles-based and outcome-focused approach to regulation - and what this means for the way FSA-regulated firms handle complaints
  • an article on "capping" in mortgage endowment complaints, where the policy remains linked to a mortgage.

[issue 61 - PDF version opens in new window]

the FSA's move towards more principles-based regulation: the role of the ombudsman

23 April 2007

speech by Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, at the FSA's conference on the future of regulation

full regulation of claims management services begins today

23 April 2007

department for constitutional affairs announces the start of full regulation for claims management companies – including commercial "no win, no fee" firms handling financial complaints for consumers

[see our frequently-asked-question on "do I need specialist help to complain" – for the ombudsman view of claims management companies]

video-welcome from chief ombudsman

16 April 2007

watch our new video-clip to our chief ombudsman, explaining how the Financial Ombudsman Service works and how we can help. This is part of our commitment to sharing information in a range of formats - written and spoken - to meet people's different needs.

my story: how the ombudsman service helped me ...

16 April 2007

five recent stories showing how we've been able to help people with different kinds of problems and complaints

BBC Radio 4 Money Box - on law giving borrowers new rights

14 April 2007

Money Box interviews Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, on new rights that borrowers have, under the Consumer Credit Act 2006, to complain to the ombudsman service

ombudsman and FSA update memorandum of understanding

13 April 2007

see our online research resource to download the memorandum of understanding – setting out the operational relationship between the ombudsman and the FSA - as well as other official and legal documents relating to the ombudsman's powers and constitution

BBC Watchdog on health insurance

11 April 2007

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, interviewed by Watchdog about complaints to the ombudsman service relating to critical-illness insurance

ombudsman and FSA report back on response to joint-consultation on funding the ombudsman service

11 April 2007

consumer-credit customers covered by ombudsman for first time

5 April 2007

March 2007

ITV evening news on bank charges

29 March 2007

Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman, interviewed by Chris Choi, ITV's consumer affairs editor, about bank-charge complaints - following the OFT's launch of its in-depth study into retail bank pricing

ombudsman news - issue 60

29 March 2007

includes:

  • a selection of case studies involving end-of-the-tax-year administration complaints
  • examples of complaints about pensions that involve alternatives to traditional annuities
  • an interview with lead ombudsman, Jane Hingston, on the widening of the ombudsman service remit - from 6 April 2007 - to cover all businesses with a consumer credit licence; and
  • chief ombudsman, Walter Merricks, on the challenge of ensuring that customer service reflects changing lifestyles.

[issue 60 - PDF version opens in new window]

last chance to catch up with our consumer-credit roadshow

23 March 2007

our final roadshow for consumer credit businesses pulls into London on 27 March - completing a tour covering 16 towns and cities across the UK and involving hundreds of the consumer-credit businesses set to come under the ombudsman for the first time from 6 April

consumer credit count-down - another opportunity for consumer-credit businesses to meet the ombudsman

14 March 2007

With just three weeks to go before the consumer-credit sector comes under the ombudsman for the first time, we take part in the credit-management convention organised by the Institute of Credit Management at London's Old Billingsgate on 14 March.

ombudsman takes part in Financial Services Scotland trade-show

8 March 2007

The ombudsman joins 100 exhibitors - covering investments, pensions, mortgage and protection business - at Scotland's largest financial services trade-show, incorporating Mortgage Business Expo and Money Marketing Live

why complaints handling matters

2 March 2007

Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman, talks to the Consumer Action Network about consumer activism, the response of big business, and the role of dispute-resolution schemes and ombudsmen

February 2007

our consumer helpline

26 February 2007

our phone lines have been exceptionally busy over the last few days, so we're sorry if you've not been able to get through. Please try again later, when things are a little quieter. In the meantime, we hope you'll find some helpful information on our frequently-asked-questions pages

ombudsman news - issue 59

26 February 2007

includes:

  • a selection of recent banking case studies involving complaints about lending
  • an interview with principal ombudsman, David Thomas, about FIN-NET - the Europe-wide network of financial ombudsmen and consumer-complaints organisations
  • case studies illustrating our approach to insurance disputes concerning subsidence; and
  • chief ombudsman, Walter Merricks, on why the ombudsman's head must always rule the heart, even when settling disputes involving the most tragic of circumstances

[issue 59 - PDF version opens in new window]

BBC Watchdog on bank charges

21 February 2007

Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman, on last night's Watchdog - explaining the ombudsman service's approach to settling disputes about bank charges

how we handle disputes between businesses and their customers

20 February 2007

see the latest factsheet in our series of quick guides for businesses covered by the ombudsman service

BBC Working Lunch on mortgage endowments

16 February 2007

Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman, on Working Lunch to answer viewers' questions about mortgage endowment complaints

ombudsman at the ZEE carnival

13 February 2007

meet the ombudsman this weekend at the ZEE carnival (London Olympia, 16-18 February) - the celebration of Asian lifestyle, presented by ZEE TV, the Asian media network

Halfway point on UK tour - as our consumer-credit roadshow arrives in Cambridge

7 February 2007

Our tenth weekly roadshow for consumer-credit businesses takes us to Cambridge on 13 Feb - where we'll meet local businesses coming under the ombudsman for the first time from April 2007 when we'll be covering the consumer-credit sector

ombudsman responds to banking code review

1 February 2007

as part of the independent review of the banking code and the business banking code, Jane Hingston - lead ombudsman for banking and credit - writes to the independent reviewer, Mike Young, with the ombudsman's views on areas of the banking codes that might be changed

January 2007

warning!

30 January 2007

fraudulent emails claiming to be from the ombudsman service

"Talk of the North" on bank charges

28 January 2007

"Talk of the North" (DurhamFM/AlphaFM/SunFM) interviews David Cresswell from the ombudsman service on the ombudsman approach to settling disputes about bank charges

"ombudsman hands" ... weighing up the two sides of the story

24 January 2007

the ombudsman service launches a pilot "awareness campaign" in the UK's Asian media - aimed at widening awareness in the community of the impartial role of the ombudsman in settling financial disputes
[our page in the spring issue of ZEE magazine - PDF version opens in new window]

BBC Radio 4 Money Box - refunds for victims of card fraud

20 January 2007

Tony Boorman, principal ombudsman, interviewed on Money Box about the ombudsman approach to disputed credit card and debit card transactions

corporate plan and budget for 2007/08 published for public consultation

12 January 2007

[PDF version opens in new window]

our 3-minute survey - highlights from initial feedback

4 January 2007

Feedback from our survey of website users during December 2006 shows:

  • 31% of people were using our website for the first time, while 69% were "return visitors";
  • 38% were consumers, 57% were businesses and 5% were researchers;
  • 25% of the consumers were thinking about complaining, 52% had already complained (either to the financial firm or the ombudsman), and 23% were just browsing;
  • 80% said they had found what they wanted on the website, and 87% said they would certainly visit the site again.

 


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ombudsman news

Our regular newsletter for people interested in financial complaints, and how to settle or prevent them.

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