The UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), which settles disputes between consumers and financial service providers such as insurers, has published a five-point strategy outlining its plans to modernise and improve its services.
The action plan outlines five key themes:
- A new operating model to meet a changing environment to improve efficiency and effectiveness in resolving cases
- The implementation of productivity-enhancing technological and digital capabilities to improve efficiency and convenience for customers
- A more robust and proactive approach to engaging with stakeholders to prevent complaints and unfairness from arising, and to resolve problems more efficiently
- The redevelopment of current strategies using insights from ‘timely case handling to prevent further harm to consumers’
- The exploration of revisions to the service’s funding model to improve sustainability.
Nausicaa Delfas, Interim Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman for the FOS, said: “The Financial Ombudsman Service is at a pivotal point. The Action Plan is our commitment to continue to make the changes we need to resolve customer complaints more quickly.”
“This review has given us the opportunity to reset and move forward, and we are determined to seize it. We will be changing our operating model, leveraging technology, and ensuring we share our insights to prevent complaints from arising in the first place. This builds on the work we have already done to almost halve our backlog so far this year,” she added.
The plan was published in response to an independent periodic review
The action plan was published alongside, and in response to, an independent periodic review commissioned by the service’s board.
“The board commissioned this independent review to get an impartial perspective on current and future challenges,” said Zahida Manzoor, Chairman of the FOS.
“As we move forward, we value our strong working relationships with the Financial Conduct Authority, the wider regulatory family and look forward in partnership to preventing and addressing detriment to our customers. This action plan will help the Financial Ombudsman Service to play its part.”