Financial Ombudsman Service

What happens if things go wrong?

We always aim to provide the highest possible levels of service and advice but even so, we appreciate that there may be occasions when clients are unhappy and wish to make a complaint. In these cases it is always best to approach us first as we likely to be in the best position to address issues quickly and smoothly. If, however, you are not happy with our response to your complaint or we have not responded within eight weeks of you making a complaint, you can take your complaint to Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

What is the Financial Ombudsman Service?

FOS was set up by law as an independent public body. Its job is to provide a speedy and cost effective way to resolve disputes between financial companies and their customers without having to go to court.

Most individuals and small business will be eligible to use the service.

About the Service

•    The service was set up by Parliament to sort out individual complaints that consumers and financial businesses aren’t able to resolve themselves

•    The service is free to consumers and certain small businesses

•    Depending how complicated a case is, complaints can be sorted out in a few months. But some cases – for example, complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) – can take much longer

•    It does not write the rules for financial businesses – or fine them if rules are broken. That’s the regulator’s job.

How they can help

FOS will listen to both sides of the story, and will give advice or make decisions based on the facts that they see.

And their word is law. If you choose to accept the Ombudsman’s decision then it’s legally binding on both you and the business. However you don’t need to accept it, you’re still free to pursue the matter further through the courts should you wish.

Next steps

If you’ve a grievance with a business and they don’t respond within eight weeks – or you’re unhappy with what they say – get in touch with the Ombudsman.

You can ring on 0300 123 9 123 or 0800 023 4567 from 8am to 8pm Monday to Friday, and from 9am to 1pm on Saturdays.

You can also email at complaint.info@financial-ombudsman.org.uk

And if you’d like more information on the Ombudsman, what they do and how they can help, then you can also visit their website.

Testimonials

After I sold my business I decided to take a serious look at my Pension Fund that I’d built up over many years and to appoint new financial advisors. Upon the recommendation of David Grunberg of Grunberg & Co, I approached Michael Gould and Highwood. It was important to me to be working with someone that I liked and felt I could get on well with, and Michael ticked those boxes. He appeared to be a man of honesty and integrity and he explained things in an easy to understand and relaxed fashion, and without any complicated technical financial jargon. He still does. I was looking for someone to take over my hard earned pension fund, look after it and invest it well, in order that it would in turn look after me going forward. I also wanted to sleep well at night, knowing it was in safe hands. So, 5 years on and I still sleep well at night, very well in fact. Michael and his team have looked after me extremely well, I’m now drawing down on my pension fund and am pleased to say that, even in this unsettled market, my fund is growing by at least, if not more than I’m taking out, and my capital is still intact.

Peter Nye

I’ve worked with Highwood since we started our company over 12 years ago. Highwood now not only works with my business partner and me, but also a large number of the 80 people that work here at Grand Union. In addition to always getting strong financial advice from the Highwood team, I rely on Michael Gould for crucial guidance and support in relation to my family and professional finances. His expertise, understanding and, above all, candour has proved invaluable throughout this time.

Matt Nicholls
Chief Executive, Grand Union Limited