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about the Financial Ombudsman Service

Nine out of ten people say they have no complaints about their bank, insurer or finance firm. And most financial transactions take place without any problems.

But sometimes things go wrong. And when they do, and a customer isn’t happy, it’s up to the business to try and sort it out. The business must be given the chance to look into a problem – and they have eight weeks to do it.

If the customer still isn’t satisfied, they can come to us. We’ll listen to both sides of the story. And we’ll be honest. We give advice or make decisions based on the facts that we see.

our promise ...

We won’t take sides – and we’ll look at every problem with an open mind. But we can’t make any promises about the outcome, because it all depends on the individual circumstances.

key facts

  • we were set up by parliament to sort out individual complaints that consumers and financial businesses aren't able to resolve themselves.
  • our service is free to consumers.
  • depending how complicated a case is, we can sort out some complaints in just a few months. But some cases – for example, complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) – can take much longer.
  • we don't write the rules for financial businesses – or fine them if rules are broken. That’s the regulator’s job.

we can look at complaints about most financial problems involving:

  • PPI (payment protection insurance)
  • banking
  • insurance
  • mortgages
  • credit cards and store cards
  • loans and credit
  • payday lending and debt collecting
  • pensions
  • savings and investments
  • hire purchase and pawnbroking
  • money transfer
  • financial advice
  • stocks, shares, unit trusts and bonds.

But there are some complaints we cannot deal with. And rules and restrictions may apply – for example, on the time limits for bringing a complaint (so it is very important that you complain as soon as possible).

The rules can be complex. But we will always give you the chance to query anything you don't understand or agree with.