FOS set to allow more free cases

The Financial Ombudsman Service has revealed it is looking to increase from three to 25 the number of free cases firms are allowed before having to pay a case fee. The FOS is preparing to deal with a deluge of payment protection insurance claims over the next few years.

From 2013, the FOS is proposing that firms with 25 referred cases or fewer will be exempt from fees, which it says will mean only 1% of businesses pay any case fees at all.

And for the 10 financial services groups that account for over 70% of its complaints workload, the FOS proposes a new group account arrangement that it says would more accurately reflect the costs of the work generated by each group.

For the duration of 2012, however, the FOS plans to continue to charge businesses £500 for the fourth and any subsequent complaint each year, as well as a supplementary case fee of £350 for each PPI mis-selling case for those firms with over 25 such cases a year.

A spokeswoman for the FOS confirmed that networks will continue to be classed as a single firm, meaning that the new limit of 25 cases would cover all a network’s appointed representatives.