This consultation paper sets out:
Chapter 2 of this document gives an overview of the current financial year, outlining how the different types of complaints we see (what we call our "case mix") have changed over the last year. It also explains how trends we are currently seeing may serve as indicators for our future workload.
Chapter 2 also explains how dealing with the unexpected additional volume of PPI cases has had a significant financial impact, as well as an operational impact on our service over the past year. This is likely to result in our financial reserves reducing significantly by the end of the current financial year (2010/2011).
Chapter 3 outlines our plans for the future - on which we welcome feedback. At their heart, these plans focus on our being a trusted, fair and high-quality service, open to everyone.
This consultation paper outlines the achievements we have already made this year. It sets out how we plan to commit to the professional development of our staff, enhance our knowledge-management systems, and develop our capability to better share our insight and information with all our stakeholders - including the financial services industry, consumer groups and regulators.
As a result of our efficiency and cost-reduction drives throughout the year, we are now absorbing most of the additional case-handling costs that have come about because of the shift towards more complex and harder-fought cases.
Apart from any significant cost-implications arising out of the challenging approach some financial businesses are now taking to PPI cases, we expect to end the 2010/2011 financial year with a broadly balanced month-on-month budget.
As well as describing what we have already achieved this year, this document outlines how we plan to modernise our infrastructure - to help improve our efficiency and reduce the overall costs for users of "doing business" with us.
Chapter 4 of this document explains the continuing uncertainty we expect to see - in relation both to the volumes of cases that will be referred to us and to the types of issues and products those cases will involve. We also expect continuing uncertainty in relation to the impact of challenges to our handling of PPI cases.
Chapter 5 gives more detail about our financial plans for 2011/2012. These plans are based on our aim to freeze - for the second year running - the amount of the case fee and the total underlying levy.
However, the degree of uncertainty and complexity we face in terms of case volumes and "case mix" means we need to review our position on our financial reserves in relation to our compulsory jurisdiction (which covers 97.5% of our workload). Chapter 5 sets out further details of the issues involved and the range of options we are considering.
We are keen to hear from all our stakeholders on:
We welcome your feedback on our plans and budget for 2011/2012. Your views and comments on this consultation paper will help us to finalise the budget we put to the Financial Services Authority (FSA) - for its approval in March 2011.