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It’s not often something happens that everyone seems to have something to say about. Over recent weeks, many conversations I’ve had – personally and professionally, and whatever the original topic – have come round to the result of the EU membership referendum.
Among the issues being raised following the vote, the possible impact on overseas travel – whether it’s for work or leisure – is something that’s important to many people. So the theme of this ombudsman news – being away from home – may seem especially relevant this year.
But at this time of year, it’s likely that taking some kind of break would have been on people’s minds anyway. Realistically, whatever the future looks like, people will continue to travel. And it seems certain that UK financial businesses will continue to have customers all over the world. This means the types of problems we’ve highlighted – from missed flights to mix-ups with ex-pats’ pensions – are things we’ll continue to see for some time yet.
So – and while there are of course many things to be worked out – for now at least it’s business as usual for us. The Financial Conduct Authority has said that, until the Government and Parliament makes changes, the regulation of financial services remains the same. As the picture develops, we’ll be keeping in touch with the FCA and others to talk about what the referendum decision could mean for our work.
Actually, I think it’s a good prompt to reflect that it was originally UK financial businesses themselves – not the government or the EU – who, voluntarily, set up the ombudsman as a free, informal channel for resolving customers’ concerns. However “Brexit” pans out, I’m confident this spirit of fairness won’t disappear.
ombudsman news gives general information on the position at the date of publication. It is not a definitive statement of the law, our approach or our procedure.
The illustrative case studies are based broadly on real-life cases, but are not precedents. Individual cases are decided on their own facts.