Navigating the Financial Ombudsman Service - 15/11/2018
The Training Environment For Financial Services

Navigating the Financial Ombudsman Service

15 Nov 2018, London

9:30am to 4:30pm

Outline & Objectives

DISP sets out the rules for the FOS. But what does that really look like in practice, and how does it work in the day to day?

This highly practical course will de-mystify the FOS - from how it really works, to its approach to complaints. We’ll look at its remit and what this means - at a very practical level - for firms with complaints. We’ll also dig into what the FOS looks for when assessing a complaint, and what can help or hinder a complaint.

Led by a Caroline Wells, who recently held a senior position at the Financial Ombudsman Service, and Adam Samuel, noted complaints expert and author of the standard work on complaint handling in financial services, this course will help you:

  • Have a deeper understanding of how the FOS works: the rules and technicalities
  • Know what to expect if you have a complaint at the ombudsman
  • Gain practical insights and tips to help navigate the FOS process
  • How the ombudsman reaches a decision: the key elements and considerations
  • Avoid potential pitfalls and surprises when dealing with the ombudsman

Who will benefit?

The course will be of value to those involved in, or responsible for, handling or overseeing complaints and frontline and business as usual’ customer queries, including: Complaints, Customer Services, Customer Experience, Operations, Compliance, Legal and Quality Assurance professionals in FCA regulated organisations.

This course is complementary to our technical, regulatory course Effective Complaint Handling under DISP .

Training Approach

This informal workshop uses a combination of trainer input, knowledge sharing and talking through real-life situations. Class size will be limited to enable delegates to get the most out of the programme.

Course Presenter

Caroline Wells is an award-winning Customer Insight professional with over 25 years of transformational leadership in financial services. Having held a senior position at the Financial Ombudsman Service, Caroline has a deep-rooted knowledge of customer insight, diversity legislation, outreach and complaints handling. As well as advising businesses across all industries in these areas, Caroline is a commissioner on Energy UK’s Commission for Customers in Vulnerable Circumstances and is an independent advisor working with several organisations, including; The Money Advice Trust, The National Centre for Diversity and Kent’s Police and Crime Commissioner. Caroline is also a member of several professional bodies including, the Instiute of Customer Service and Chartered Institute of Public Relations.

Adam Samuel is a compliance specialist and lawyer who has spent much of the last 20 years training and advising firms, ranging from major banks to one-man firms, on complaint handling and other compliance problems. Qualified as a lawyer on both sides of the Atlantic and proud holder of an AFPC, the MAQ and CISI compliance diploma, Adam wrote the only major book on financial services complaint handling in 2005 which went into a second edition in 2017. His expert evidence on investment risk and compliance has been accepted by the English High Court and the Gibraltar Supreme Court.

Course Agenda

Session Content
Introduction to the course

  • Objective of training
  • What you’d like to know by the end of the day
Introduction to FOS
  • The origins of FOS
  • Ombudsman tradition and folklore
  • The Financial Services and Markets Act provisions
  • How FOS is supposed to work
  • The effect of the ADR Directive – dispute resolution body versus Ombudsman
The Ombudsman's jurisdiction
  • The subject-matters
  • Eligible complainants
  • Things included you didn’t expect to find
  • The effect of time and space
The initial filter
  • Jurisidiction
  • Time-bars - 6 months, 6 years, 3 years
  • Summary dismissal
     - Frivolous and vexatious
     - Alternative dispute resolution going on or in the past
     - The missing party
     - The grounds that disappeared in July 2015 (and people still think are there)
  • MoU with the Pensions Ombudsman – pensions administration and onward referral
  • Test cases
  • Timeframes
How FOS handles cases
  • Mediation or dispute resolution without a final response
  • Procedural powers
  • Time-limits
  • Evidence – disclosure to each side
  • The inquisitorial approach – what’s being investigated and how
The rules FOS has to apply or have regard to
  • Fair and reasonable
  • Law
  • Need to find some sort of loss to make an award
Key elements in decision-making
  • Grounds for upholding complaints in different areas
  • Breach of contract, carelessness, clear, fair and not misleading
  • Insurance claims, maladministration, bad advice, irresponsible lending
  • Plevin claims – what are they all about? – hidden commissions
  • Trouble or is it distress and inconvenience
  • Compensation
  • Tax
  • Interest
The Ombudsman's decision
  • How it is reached
  • Limits on powers – maximum award limit
  • Processes around complainant’s acceptance
  • Effect of the decision
  • Judicial review

This course can be delivered in-house at a time and location to suit your business and tailored to suit your people and organisation. We can also create bespoke training when something very specific is needed.Please contact us to discuss your requirements in more detail and at no obligation.

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