- It’s our job to sort out individual complaints that consumers and financial businesses aren't able to resolve themselves.
- We were set up by parliament to do this – as independent experts – and our service is free to consumers.
- We handle complaints about all kinds of money matters – from insurance and mortgages to savings and credit. Last year we answered over two million enquiries and took on more than half a million cases.
- We’re completely independent and impartial. This means that when we decide a complaint, we look carefully at both sides of the story and weigh up all the facts.
- If we decide the business has treated its customer fairly, we will explain why. But if we decide the business has acted wrongly – and the consumer has lost out as a result – we can order it to put things right.
- Depending how complicated a case is, we can sort out some complaints within just a few months. But some cases – for example, complaints about mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) – can take over a year.
- Consumers don’t have to accept any decision we make. But if they do accept an ombudsman's decision, it's binding both on them and on the business.
- We don't write the rules for financial businesses – or fine them if rules are broken. That is the job of the regulator.
we can look at complaints about most financial problems involving:
- PPI (payment protection insurance)
- credit cards and store cards
- loans and credit
- savings and investments
- hire purchase and pawnbroking
- money transfer
- financial advice
- stocks, shares, unit trusts and bonds.
But there are some complaints we cannot deal with. And rules and restrictions may apply – for example, on the time limits for bringing a complaint (so it is very important that you complain as soon as possible).
The rules can be complex. But we will always give you the chance to query anything you don't understand or agree with.