On 19 April 2023, the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) published the annual report for the Wider Implications Framework.

The Wider Implications Framework (the framework) was re-launched in early 2022 as a means for members of the financial services regulatory family (the FOS, the FCA, the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS), the Pensions Regulator (TPR) and the Money and Pensions Service (MaPS)) to work with each other on issues that could have a wider impact across industry. The framework creates an opportunity for structured collaboration on key issues, with the aim of achieving better outcomes for consumers, firms and the industry as a whole by building on the existing collaborative work that takes place.

The report highlights key achievements made by the framework including the following:

  • Working together to ensure consumers who were unsuitably advised to transfer out of the British Steel Pension Scheme are aware of their rights and to make the complaints or claim journey as accessible as possible.
  • Sharing information on complaints about mortgage standard variable rates which ensures fair and consistent complaint outcomes with redress paid if appropriate.
  • Joint work to ensure that the FOS is prepared for the introduction of the FCA’s Consumer Duty, including internal training sessions and engagement with external stakeholders to understand their concerns.

The framework plans to continue to work on these issues as well as other topics. It will continue to review whether the right issues are being captured, whether there are new focus areas with potential wider implications identified, or whether its focused collaborative work on a key issue has become ‘business as usual’.