The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is gearing up for a high volume of complaints over Payment Protection Insurance next year predicting that it will have to deal with around 250,000 new disputes. This amounts to around 5,000 new complaints a day.
The potential scale of PPI complaints, says the FOS in its recently published plan and budget for 2013/2014, is ‘unprecedented’.
Complaints to the FOS
The FOS is an independent body, set up by Parliament to deal with disputes between financial businesses and their clients.
It is not a regulator, and cannot fine business that break the rules, but it does take an impartial look at complaints that parties cannot resolve by themselves. If they are at fault, it can order businesses to put things right again.
The FOS deals with disputes over all sorts of financial issues, but at the moment it is heavily involved in dealing with the Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) scandal.
Making a PPI complaint
The FOS is not your first port of call if you think you are entitled to compensation because you were mis-sold PPI. All complaints should initially be made to the bank or financial institution involved and only if it cannot be resolved satisfactorily will the FOS get involved.
The FOS’s workload is therefore very dependent on the banks’ ability to deal with PPI complaints properly.
While we see some businesses using complaints positively to improve customer service, many continue to frustrate their customers with delays and inconvenience. This has a marked impact on our workload, said Tony Boorman, deputy chief ombudsman.Two years after the court ruling confirmed the approach that financial businesses should take when handling PPI complaints, it’s disappointing that we’re still seeing significant numbers of unresolved disputes about mis-sold policies being referred to the ombudsman.
More PPI cases
According to the plan and budget, the number of PPI cases received by the FOS in 2012/2013 dramatically exceeded our assumptions, and it expects to have received around 250,000 new cases by the end of the current financial year. It predicts a similar volume of new cases for the next financial year too.
1,000 extra staff recruited
In order to cope with the demand, the FOS recruited around 1,000 new members of staff in 2012/2013 but it has found that this is still not enough. While incoming complaints are being processed, the sheer volume of them means that it is taking a lot longer to assess and resolve older cases than the service would like.
The FOS therefore plans to recruit a further 1,000 case workers in 2013/2014 to tackle the unprecedented number of complaints and forecasts that it will resolve 245,000 PPI cases over the course of the financial year.
Guest post regarding the FOS’ prediction that it will have to deal with around 250,000 new disputes in the next year, with an unprecedented level of PPI claims. For advice on reclaiming contact PPR’s PPI claims team based in Glasgow, Scotland. Their advisers and solicitors have years of experience, helping to recover millions of pounds for their customers.