UK Financial Ombudsman announces increase to award limits

Maria Nikolova

The award limit is the maximum amount the Ombudsman can require a financial service firm to pay when the Ombudsman upholds complaints.

The UK Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has announced an increase to its award limits. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed the annual increase to these limits.

The award limit is the maximum amount FOS can require a financial service firm to pay when the Ombudsman upholds complaints. This limit is adjusted each year in line with inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI).

  • From April 1, 2020, the award limits will change to £355,000 for complaints referred to FOS on or after April 1, 2020 about acts or omissions by firms on or after April 1, 2019.
  • For complaints about acts or omissions by firms before April 1, 2020 and which are referred to FOS after that date, the limit will remain at £160,000.
  • For complaints referred to FOS between April 1, 2019 and March 31, 2020 about acts or omissions by firms on or after April 1, 2019, the limit will be slightly lower at £350,000 and for any complaints referred to FOS before April 1, 2019, the limits will remain at £150,000.

As FinanceFeeds has reported, between October 1, 2019 and December 31, 2019, the ombudsman received 195,851 new enquiries and 83,754 new complaints – with 9,160 complaints passed to an ombudsman for final decision. On average, the body upheld 34% of the complaints it resolved.

Regarding derivatives, the body reports receiving 173 enquiries about these products during the three quarters to December 31, 2019. The number of cases referred to the ombudsman is 24, with the proportion of cases upheld being 23%, which is somewhat higher than the 15% rate seen in the year-ago period.

Regarding spread betting, the ombudsman said it received 98 enquiries about such products in the first three quarters of FY19/20. The number of cases referred to the ombudsman is 26, with the proportion of upheld cases being 21%, which is higher than the 15% rate for the year-ago period.

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