On 4 April 2024, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) published its 2024 and 2025 strategic plans and budget. The final plans and budget come as the FOS has announced its expectation of higher demand in the year ahead, with an estimated caseload of 210,000 complaints. The higher caseload comes as the FOS has committed to resolving complaints faster, with more stretching targets set for the year ahead.

The FOS consulted on its plans in December last year, when it estimated it would receive around 181,300 new cases in 2024/25. Following discussion with businesses and consumer groups that figure has since been elevated to 210,000.

Summary of plans

  • The FOS has committed to resolve 17% more cases in the year ahead than in 2023/24, up from 192,500 to 225,000. This increased workload will be tackled partly by recruiting more case handlers. There is also a commitment to continue investing in the customer and business digital journey, as well as expanding its regional presence in the UK to ensure the FOS is accessible to different communities.
  • The FOS confirms its intention to reduce the cost of our its services to industry in 2024/25. The case fee will drop by £100 per case to £650, while the compulsory and voluntary jurisdiction levy costs to businesses will also be reduced. This will result in over an effective £60 million reduction in case fees and levy costs to businesses, once inflation and increases in the number of cases are taken into account.

The FOS previously sought views on the possibility of exercising new powers granted under the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, allowing the organisation to charge claims management companies and other relevant professional representatives. Following positive feedback on the initial consultation, it intends to consult on further detail in the first quarter of this financial year.

Abby Thomas, Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said:

“The Financial Ombudsman Service continues to make significant improvements in the service we offer, getting customers decisions more quickly while maintaining the high quality of our work. We will be even more ambitious next year, with plans to resolve complaints faster, while also reducing the cost of our service to businesses. In the year ahead it’s likely that our service will see increasing levels of complaints, with many of those disputes expected to focus on the critical issues that impact people’s everyday lives. This includes perceived unaffordable lending, concerns about car loan agreements, and disputes around fraud and scams.”