FOS reveals £1.2m levy increase

Anybody that needs to complain in the UK about a financial institution or service, must ultimately do so to the Financial Ombudsman. The Ombudsman will then arbitrate on the matter. The can adjudicate on any matter relating to banking, insurance, mortgages, credit cards and store cards, loans, credit, pensions, savings, investments, hire purchase, pawnbroking, money transfer, financial advice, stocks, shares, unit trusts and bonds. Basically, if there’s an issue related to any financial matter in the UK, the Ombudsman is empowered to arbitrate if the matter cannot be resolved between the two parties. Here the bank note imagery of a sterling bank note carries the message, with the Gavel symbolising the adjudication.

The Financial Ombudsman Service industry levy will increase by £1.2m for 2016/17, while case fees remain frozen at £550 for the fourth year in a row.

The FOS levy will climb from £23.3m to £24.5m, while its planned operating budget will also increase from £223.2m to £226.5m

The FOS linked the increased levy to the transfer of responsibility for consumer credit, which now comes under the remit of the FCA rather than the Office of Fair Trading.

As a result, an increased number of firms will pay the levy, although the sums levied on individual firms are expected to remain the same.

The total number of consumer enquiries faced by the FOS in 2016/17 is expected to remain broadly flat at 1.7 million, with 15,000 forecast to be generated by investments and pensions.

It adds that it expects the number of complaints generated by the pension freedoms to remain broadly flat, having only witnessed a “relatively small” total relating to delays and administrative problems on the part of pension providers, as well as issues around getting advice.