When Lloyds bank mishandled my aged Aunt’s savings some years ago, I ended up in a lengthy battle with the bank and the FOS to get her proper compension. The bank eventually offered a reasonable sum, but I disagreed with the interest rate used and asked FOS to resolve the dispute. The whole complaint was very badly handled by FOS and its independent assessor and the experience convinced me that FOS is out of control, unregulated, answering to no one, and setting its own standards which are not independently audited and against which there is no reasonable way to protest. I thought the public should know about FOS’s shortcomings, hence my original website and this one. Details of what happened to me were sent to Lord Hunt as evidence in his review of FOS and my letter was one of only four contributions from the public which he published. I publish it again here. (It’s a long read !)
To be fair, much has changed at FOS since my case. Three new Chief Executives and two new Independent Assessors for a start. Thousands of new adjudicators have come and gone (many with no financial qualifications). The service review team has been scrapped and now (2016) a massive new restructuring is taking place, much of it raising staff concerns. But little has happened to address my major criticism that ombudsmen make their decisions based on what they personally consider to be “fair and reasonable”, but it’s not possible to challenge this and there is no way open to ordinary people to get a decision independently reviewed. ” The ombudsman’s decision is final”.