The Financial Ombudsman Service was set up by parliament to settle disputes between businesses providing financial services and individual consumers. We are completely independent and impartial.
To carry out our functions effectively, we need to co-operate and communicate constructively with a number of organisations, including official bodies like the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), as well as other ombudsman schemes.
We have entered into a number of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with relevant bodies – and we are in the process of drawing up a number of others. These MoUs provide the operational framework for the relationship between the Financial Ombudsman Service and each relevant body, and also cover any arrangements for the exchange of information.
We have entered into MoUs (or protocols) with the following bodies:
So far as our separate and independent roles allow, we liaise and co-operate closely with the FCA (previously the FSA) and the OFT on issues that affect each other's work.
This work includes a co-ordination committee made up of senior staff from the three organisations. The purpose of this committee is to help to identify emerging issues that could lead to widespread consumer detriment – and to co-ordinate each organisation's separate response to these.
Further guides and statements on our work with other bodies include:
a guide for consumers, financial service providers and claims management companies on how complaints involving claims management companies should be handled, from the Claims Management Regulator (the Ministry of Justice), the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), the Financial Ombudsman Service and the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS)
a joint note from the Claims Management Regulator (the Ministry of Justice), the FSA, the Financial Ombudsman Service and the FSCS
a statement from the regulators outlining their respective roles and responsibilities – and mentioning the role of the Financial Ombudsman Service