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Financial Ombudsman Service

key facts

  • It’s our job to settle individual complaints between consumers and businesses providing financial services. If we uphold a complaint, we can order matters to be put right.
  • We were set up by parliament to do this – as independent experts – and our service is free to consumers.
  • We can look at complaints about a wide range of financial matters – from insurance and mortgages to investments and credit. Each year we deal with over a million enquiries and settle around 100,000 disputes.
  • We’re completely independent and impartial – just as a judge would be if the consumer went to court instead.
  • We are not a regulator ("watchdog") or a trade body or a consumer champion. Our role is to settle disputes, without taking sides. So when we look at a complaint, we give both sides a fair hearing.
  • If a business isn't able to resolve a customer’s complaint on its own, we'll see if we can help settle the dispute. But the business must first have the chance to sort things out itself.
  • We can often resolve disputes informally, but some cases are more complex and take more time. We aim to settle most disputes within six to nine months.
  • Consumers don’t have to accept any decision we make. They are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an ombudsman's decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.
  • Our service is confidential – we do not publish the names of businesses or consumers whose complaints we handle.
Financial Ombudsman Service Ltd, Exchange Tower, London , E14 9GE
Area serviced:
0800 023 4567
020 7964 1001
Opening times:
8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday, 9am to1pm on Saturday
How to apply:
By phone or e-mail

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Financial advice is given on specific areas of your finances. It works well with financial planning for the whole of your financial security.