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Creation Financial Services bashing

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  • Lady London

    My claim with FOS has just been put back in the queue for a new case handler as my current one seemingly has too high a workload. Anybody else had this happen? Does this mean starting again from scratch?

    I’d be complaining. JDB may say we all have to lie down and take it.

    NorthernLass

    My claim with FOS has just been put back in the queue for a new case handler as my current one seemingly has too high a workload. Anybody else had this happen? Does this mean starting again from scratch?

    At least they’ve told you this! I’m sure @JDB will have an explanation but why on earth don’t they put a couple of sample cases in front of Creation and decide whether they think Creation was in the wrong?

    JDB

    My claim with FOS has just been put back in the queue for a new case handler as my current one seemingly has too high a workload. Anybody else had this happen? Does this mean starting again from scratch?

    I’d be complaining. JDB may say we all have to lie down and take it.

    You can complain until you are blue in the face, but how will that progress your case? I very much doubt your complaint will go to the back of the queue. For all those who are so keen on nationalising Heathrow and / or BA this is real life public sector efficiency.

    The Urbanite

    My claim with FOS has just been put back in the queue for a new case handler as my current one seemingly has too high a workload. Anybody else had this happen? Does this mean starting again from scratch?

    Yes, it happened to me!

    PeteM

    For all those who are so keen on nationalising Heathrow and / or BA this is real life public sector efficiency.

    This is so misleading, JDB. There is no reason why public sector organisations shouldn’t be efficient. The FOS is clearly underfunded, as are many public services, and there is clearly limited interest from the government to change that. Improving the service would be done by upping the amounts the FOS charges financial institutions for reviewing cases and the government clearly do not want to do that, for whatever reason…

    Anyway – I escalated the fact that Creation is being given unlimited time by the FOS to deal with my complaint. A manager at the service replied with:

    “I can see why you’d feel we’ve given Creation an unreasonable amount of time to provide us with further information. I can assure you we don’t intend to let this last indefinitely, and we are working with Creation to get the information we need. But at the moment I can’t give you any specific timescales on how long this is likely to be.

    I appreciate your complaint is important to you, and we want to reach a resolution as quickly as possible. As soon as we have any substantive updates, we’ll let you know.”

    If I am unhappy, I was told to complain to the Independent Assessor, although “the Independent Assessor will usually only review the service we’ve provided once a case has been closed.”

    I am tempted to go to the Independent Assessor to bring up the fact the FOS must be the only arbitration service out there that doesn’t have clearly defined timescales for parties replying, which is just insane in my view…

    Lady London

    ….And another innocuous post without any controversial words goes missing …. X marks the spot

    X

    JDB

    @Pete M as I suggested, complaining is a waste of time. The FOS is a creature of statute so it operates within that framework (and is totally different to an arbitrator like CEDR) and no time limits are specified in the legislation. While the open timescales are rather unsatisfactory, there are several reasons, the main one being that any decision by an Ombudsman is final and could only really be overturned via Judicial Review, a costly and difficult route. Therefore they rightly do not wish to give ‘default’ decisions. MCOL will give default judgments, but then there is a right to apply for a set aside which is quick and easy.

    memesweeper

    @Pete M as I suggested, complaining is a waste of time. The FOS is a creature of statute so it operates within that framework (and is totally different to an arbitrator like CEDR) and no time limits are specified in the legislation. While the open timescales are rather unsatisfactory, there are several reasons, the main one being that any decision by an Ombudsman is final and could only really be overturned via Judicial Review, a costly and difficult route. Therefore they rightly do not wish to give ‘default’ decisions. MCOL will give default judgments, but then there is a right to apply for a set aside which is quick and easy.

    However, public bodies are pretty much inescapably trapped by a requirement to be ‘reasonable’, and they (or their lawyers) know this. The Parliamentary Ombudsman has very broad powers to investigate wrongdoing by any public bodies (with some exclusions, like tribunals). They might have jurisdiction and may be interested in a body like FOS which provided a woefully inadequate service.

    JDB

    @memesweeper you need the permission of your MP to complain to the PHSO and anyway it doesn’t have jurisdiction over the FOS, any more than it has jurisdiction over delays in courts or tribunals.

    Per my comment, the FOS, as a creature of statute (like say Tax Tribunals) is not subject to this sort of scrutiny. You will also find that public bodies charged with overseeing other public organisations are exceptionally sympathetic about standard delays unless they were truly egregious and had a very specific detriment to the affected party they will not consider them unreasonable.

    PeteM

    @Pete M as I suggested, complaining is a waste of time. The FOS is a creature of statute so it operates within that framework (and is totally different to an arbitrator like CEDR) and no time limits are specified in the legislation. While the open timescales are rather unsatisfactory, there are several reasons, the main one being that any decision by an Ombudsman is final and could only really be overturned via Judicial Review, a costly and difficult route. Therefore they rightly do not wish to give ‘default’ decisions. MCOL will give default judgments, but then there is a right to apply for a set aside which is quick and easy.

    Thanks @JDB – that’s insightful, if depressing!

    Blair Waldorf Salad

    FOS are a basketcase in terms of backlogs. The fact these 2 jobs (link below) are being hired in at the same time suggests at least an awareness that new leadership is needed: https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/news-events/financial-ombudsman-service-appoints-deputy-chief-ombudsman-chief-operating-officer

    The Urbanite

    @Pete M as I suggested, complaining is a waste of time. The FOS is a creature of statute so it operates within that framework (and is totally different to an arbitrator like CEDR) and no time limits are specified in the legislation. While the open timescales are rather unsatisfactory, there are several reasons, the main one being that any decision by an Ombudsman is final and could only really be overturned via Judicial Review, a costly and difficult route. Therefore they rightly do not wish to give ‘default’ decisions. MCOL will give default judgments, but then there is a right to apply for a set aside which is quick and easy.

    It may not always be a complete waste of time. One complaint email and they might offer you £100 for the delay which is a good return on the time it takes to do it. At least this was my experience. But agreed it’s not likely to speed things up.

    Andrew.

    FOS are a basketcase in terms of backlogs. The fact these 2 jobs (link below) are being hired in at the same time suggests at least an awareness that new leadership is needed: https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/news-events/financial-ombudsman-service-appoints-deputy-chief-ombudsman-chief-operating-officer

    Career Civil Servant and a Career Academic/Civil Servant, starting work in 2 months time – if they don’t change their minds.

    It’s not really a cause for celebration. I know at least a dozen ex-colleagues who have started work at either the FCA and ICO and given up after a short period for various reasons.

    memesweeper

    I’d be complaining. JDB may say we all have to lie down and take it.

    You can complain until you are blue in the face, but how will that progress your case? I very much doubt your complaint will go to the back of the queue. For all those who are so keen on nationalising Heathrow and / or BA this is real life public sector efficiency.

    Anyone can ask for details of their caseload WRT Creation here:

    https://www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/freedom-of-information

    An interesting starting point might be number of new cases lodged in 12 months, number adjudicated/settled, number outstanding.

    A very long time ago I worked for an adjudication service that was neither unfair nor slow. I don’t think it’s fair to assume the whole public sector, or even all quasi-judicial functions, work as badly as FOS appears to.

    JDB

    @Pete M as I suggested, complaining is a waste of time. The FOS is a creature of statute so it operates within that framework (and is totally different to an arbitrator like CEDR) and no time limits are specified in the legislation. While the open timescales are rather unsatisfactory, there are several reasons, the main one being that any decision by an Ombudsman is final and could only really be overturned via Judicial Review, a costly and difficult route. Therefore they do not wish to give ‘default’ decisions. MCOL will give default judgments, but then there is a right to apply for a set aside which is quick and easy. There is no such process for FOS. Additionally, many FOS cases are quite specialist and only a limited number of handlers can deal with them and many involve involve huge amounts of data to examine plus many cases are very poorly put together by the complainant. Lastly, the FOS feels it can’t be that tough on financial services providers when it is suffering exactly the same shortage of specialist staff that is causing delays for the parties. The delays are much more a case of staff shortages and a huge increase in cases rather than underfunding.

    On the other point, historically governments of all colours have been utterly hopeless at running businesses. Capital allocation is always an issue so they muddle along after than growing/developing the business, they put ‘friends’ in charge rather than the best people, they don’t sack people when they need to be sacked etc. The government used to manufacture cars, steel, ships, arms etc. – look how that worked out.

    JDB

    @Pete M as I suggested, complaining is a waste of time. The FOS is a creature of statute so it operates within that framework (and is totally different to an arbitrator like CEDR) and no time limits are specified in the legislation. While the open timescales are rather unsatisfactory, there are several reasons, the main one being that any decision by an Ombudsman is final and could only really be overturned via Judicial Review, an impractically costly and difficult route. Therefore they do not wish to give ‘default’ decisions. MCOL will give default judgments, but then there is a right to apply for a set aside which is quick and easy. There is no such process for FOS.

    Additionally, many FOS cases are quite specialist and only a limited number of handlers can deal with them and many involve involve huge amounts of data to examine plus many cases are very poorly put together by the complainant. Lastly, the FOS feels it can’t be that tough on financial services providers when it is suffering exactly the same shortage of specialist staff that is causing delays for the parties. The delays are much more a case of staff shortages and a huge increase in cases rather than underfunding.

    On the other point, historically governments of all colours have been utterly hopeless at running businesses. Capital allocation is always an issue so they muddle along after than growing/developing the business, they put ‘friends’ in charge rather than the best people, they don’t sack people when they need to be sacked etc. The government used to manufacture cars, steel, ships, arms etc. – look how that worked out.

    Lady London

    Is the problem that when conpanies the FOS contacts fail to respond, the FOS person has less work so long as the company fails to respond? So the FOS has no interest in pursuing responses from miscreant companies.

    JDB

    @Pete M There is no such set aside process for FOS. Additionally, many FOS cases are quite specialist and only a limited number of handlers can deal with them and many involve involve huge amounts of data to examine plus many cases are very poorly put together by the complainant. Lastly, the FOS feels it can’t be that tough on financial services providers when it is suffering exactly the same shortage of specialist staff that is causing delays for the parties. The delays are much more a case of staff shortages and a huge increase in cases rather than underfunding.

    memesweeper

    Second time of trying to post this:

    If you are unhappy with FOS the Parliamentary Ombudsman may be able to help.

    The FOS is a creature of statute so it operates within that framework (and is totally different to an arbitrator like CEDR) and no time limits are specified in the legislation.

    All public bodies are required to be “reasonable”, and all public bodies know about that obligation. Giving one party an infinite amount of time to respond without penalty is not likely to be considered reasonable.

    The legislation provides for operational rules to be made (I’d expect that to include timescales). Deadlines don’t need to be in primary legislation, and they aren’t for many other tribunals that operate with fixed deadlines, they come as part and parcel of the procedural rules. The FCA could also mandate that responses be made in X amount of time to ADRs like the FOS. It’s bizarre FOS have no rules in this respect, I can think of no other court, tribunal or ADR that allows indefinitely stalling of an open case unilaterally by one party to a dispute.

    JDB

    @memesweeper I think many of these comments are repeats of earlier ones, but as above the PHSO has no jurisdiction over the FOS and to make a complaint to the PHSO about organisations over which it does have jurisdiction you need the permission of your MP who has to countersign the application.

    For what it’s worth, on a more general note, since a complaint to the FOS won’t expedite your case, it doesn’t seem a good idea to goad or hassle the case handler by complaining to the FOS when that person’s decision could easily go either way. They are making decisions on the balance of probabilities, there’s no black and white, so best to leave them to get on with it however irritating the delays may be. Neither party will be given indefinite time to respond, but they will get plenty of leeway.

    EwanG

    …since a complaint to the FOS won’t expedite your case, it doesn’t seem a good idea to goad or hassle the case handler by complaining to the FOS when that person’s decision could easily go either way. They are making decisions on the balance of probabilities, there’s no black and white, so best to leave them to get on with it however irritating the delays may be. Neither party will be given indefinite time to respond, but they will get plenty of leeway.

    I would hope the case handler, and potentially Ombudsman if it requires them, would make decisions based on fact. The facts here are clear, very much black and white.

    A problem with FOS is the process. If they have to judge each case independently, even though the factors for a group of complaints are the same (or at least very similar), they, and the affected firm, should try to resolve these together. It could be argued that FOS won’t be aware how many complaints will be made that all have the same/similar characteristics, but thy should have tools to capture this. Banks do this with for complaints (RCAR – root cause analysis and resolution) so it shouldn’t be beyond FOS to do the same.

    There is no good reason why FOS should not be run more efficiently, and we should be able to hold them to account, to ensure our cases are dealt with fairly and in reasonable timescales. Any complaint about that fairness and timescales should not affect the overall outcome, which must remain impartial and assessed fairly.

    Lady London

    EwanG I take your point but why do you think JDB gets nice hotel rooms and some others don’t? Because he takes the human element very much into account.

    The FOS appears to be a continuing basket case having seen the resignation of its previous head, then a caretaker head with some grip and soon a new permanent head, not from a legal or particularly financial background IIRC, to take over. Previous delays were attributed to one case type that swamped them that has now fed through. Promises were made now the backlog has considerably reduced… but personally I don’t see organisational rigour or guaranteed competence.

    However you may have an IQ of 170 but the driver of the car that kills you just has to have a driving licence. If you submitted your case to the FOS, they have the driving licence. So don’t annoy them on a personal basis.

    Paul B

    Any success stories from the FOS yet? I had not pursued, lazily, and I guess I’m too late to do so now. Was very much in the same boat as many owed points, a free night voucher and arguably a refund of the fee

    points_worrier

    Any success stories from the FOS yet? I had not pursued, lazily, and I guess I’m too late to do so now. Was very much in the same boat as many owed points, a free night voucher and arguably a refund of the fee

    You may not be too late – the ombudsman deadline is 6 months from the date of the final response from the company. Have you complained and had a final response? If not, complain now (if it is becoming clear they will lose at FOS, they may well settle at a complaint stage). If you have complained and not had a final response, send a chaser, as it keeps it ‘live’. If you have received your final response < 6 months ago, then escalate to FOS. If it is > 6 months, then you cant submit unless there is extenuating circumstances. In this case I would wait and see how the winds blow – you have 6 years to resort to MCOL. If there are multiple success stories, it may be worth considering this.

    NorthernLass

    Just out of interest, is there a point at which the FOS itself will be out of time and can no longer pursue these cases? Just thinking it’s over 5 months now and I haven’t even had a case handler allocated.

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