On 6 March 2023, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) published a Consultation Paper: Temporary changes to outcome reporting in our business-specific complaints data.
Between 1 November 2021 and March 2022, the FOS amended the way it recorded the outcomes of certain complaints that were proactively resolved by respondent businesses. This led to around 100 financial businesses making nearly 7,000 offers to resolve complaints, therefore helping complainants get fair answers more quickly.
Since then, the FOS has been considering the results and feedback from that initiative to see if it is something it can and should take forward on a more permanent basis.
The consultation sets out proposals designed to incentivise businesses to settle complaints proactively at an earlier stage, by making longer-term changes to how the FOS publishes business-specific complaints data.
The FOS proposes to create a separate category in its biannual business-specific complaints data to record any complaint that is resolved by a fair and reasonable offer put forward by a business within 14 days of the FOS requesting the respondent business’s complaints file. Complaints resolved in this way would be reported as ‘proactively settled’.
The deadline for feedback to the consultation is 5pm on 20 March 2023. The FOS plans to consider responses and publish its decision and any associated plans by 3 April 2023.