View more on these topics

FOS predicts complaints to rise in 2005

The Financial Ombudsman Service has warned that it expects complaints to surge by 25,000 in 2005.

Speaking at the Council of Mortgage Lenders annual conference, Walter Merricks, chief ombudsman at FOS, explained: “There was 55,000 complaints last year, this year at least 60,000 and unless something is radically changed, they could be going up to 85,000 the following year.”

As a result FOS has had to increase its staff from 550 two years ago to its current level of 950. The main source of complaints in relation to mortgages, ranged from administrative problems, absent records, the wrong type of mortgage commissioned and new Mortgage Day regulations.

FOS currently receives around 60 new mortgage complaints every week, double the number it received four years ago.

However, Merricks says he is not expecting an explosion of broker related complaints.

He says: “Over the last four years two thirds of the complaints have come from mortgage endowments.”

He also revealed the government had decided not to introduce an appeal system for FOS cases. Instead FOS would be concentrating on cases that have wider implications.

Merricks also expressed concern about the fact that only 20% of all cases from firms are referred to FOS, making it concerned as to whether the other 80% are being treated fairly.

With the sudden surge unregulated claims management firms offering their services to consumers instead, he says the Ombudsman is particularly concerned these firms dont give their clients false hope and were upfront about their fees.

He says: “It has fuelled the creation of claims management companies and within the sector there is wide agreement that these should be regulated.”

FOS is working with the FSA to look at these companies more closely.

Recommended

AMI’s Cummings increases his responsibilities

The Association of IFAs has announced its director-general is to be David Severn, currently head of retail investment policy at the FSA. Severn will take up his position on February 1, 2005.The AIFA executive will be restructured to reflect the special skills which each individual brings.Fay Goddard will extend her role as director of policy […]

Platform expands business development team

Platform has appointed five new business development managers.Platform, the one-stop intermediary lender of Britannia, is pleased to announce a raft of recruits, five new business development managers, in order to meet demand for Platform’s recently enhanced one product range.Clare Jarvis has been promoted internally having spent 18 months at Platform as a mobile underwriter. In […]

Split views on income check

Concern is mounting among brokers who feel the burden of assessing a client’s affordability is falling on them rather than lenders.Brokers claim that since regulation, lenders have amended application forms to shift the onus onto brokers.Paul Banfield, consultant at Best Advice Financial Planning, says: “It’s a danger for brokers. I don’t mind having the responsibility […]

Chancellor shuns calls to raise Stamp Duty threshold

The industry has slammed chancellor Gordon Brown for ignoring calls to raise the lower Stamp Duty threshold from 60,000 to at least 150,000 in his pre-Budget statement last week.Instead the chancellor praised his party’s work, telling parliament that mortgage rates since 1997 had averaged 6.1%, almost half the 11.4% average from 1979 to 1997 and […]

Retirement - thumbnail

A downhill stroll?

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has recently published new research, which once again demonstrates how the prospect of retirement is changing for older workers.

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up