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frequently-asked questions

This section answers a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:

complaining to the ombudsman

complaints we cover

how can I find out:
– what types of financial complaints the ombudsman service covers; and
– if my complaint is one you can help with?

We can help with complaints about most problems involving financial products and services provided in or from the UK. The areas we cover include:

  • bank accounts
  • credit, debit and store cards
  • payment protection insurance (PPI)
  • other insurance, like motor, travel and household
  • loans, including payday loans
  • other credit, like car finance 
  • mortgages
  • repayment problems and debt collection
  • money transfers and online payments
  • financial advice, savings and investments
  • pensions

If you're not sure if your complaint is one we can help with, just ask us.

The financial businesses we cover include:

  • businesses that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to provide retail financial services or credit-related activities. You can check whether a business is regulated by the FCA on the FCA's online register.
  • some businesses that were regulated in the past (which may not now appear on the FCA's register);
  • some businesses that are based outside the UK and aren't regulated by the FCA; and
  • some businesses that provide financial services and products that are "branded" under other companies' names.

Whether we can help with your own particular complaint will depend on:

  • whether the business you are complaining about is one that we cover;
  • what the complaint is about (there are some restrictions on the types of issues we can look at);
  • when the event you're complaining about took place (time limits apply if you leave it too late to complain); and
  • your relationship with the business you are complaining about (for example, we can't always deal with disputes between businesses - or where you're not a direct customer).

The legislation and rules that set out officially what complaints we can and can't look at (our "jurisdiction") are complex.

And because some complaints go back a long way, we may need to take account of rules that applied to former complaints schemes that no longer exist.

Our rules say that if a business we cover can’t resolve your complaint in a way you’re happy with, they must tell you about your right to refer the complaint to us.

If you're not sure if your complaint is one we can help with, just ask us.