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Dr. Mark Sinclair
Dr. Mark Sinclair, Mentor Education

FOS disputes rise by 8 per cent

29 July 2013

New statistics, released by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) have indicated that there were 8,255 disputes during the second quarter of 2013 – an increase of 8 per cent on the previous quarter.

The statistics have been released as part of the FOS Winter 2013 Circular, and have highlighted that 47 per cent of disputes were regarding credit products, twenty-eight per cent related to general insurance; 7.3 per cent related to payment systems; 6.4 per cent related to deposit-taking institutions; and only 5 per cent of disputes were related to investments.

Shane Tregillis Chief ombudsman has said that, “there had been a welcome stabilisation of dispute numbers in 2013” and indicated that FOS will undergo an independent review later this year, giving stakeholders “further opportunity to comment on our service.”

The Winter Circular also revealed that FOS has undertaken a performance review project in order to make its dispute handling process “easier and more efficient” including streamlining of the way the ombudsman obtains and exchanges information; an increase in direct telephone contact with consumers and financial service providers; moves to become less reliant on paper-based processes; and the use of ‘issues letters’ together with telephone calls to clarify issues early on in the resolution process.