The UK’s Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is calling on financial services firms to speedily resolve claims without needing its intervention.
This is because the Ombudsman is currently facing a backlog of cases received during the pandemic.
After launching a five-month initiative in November 2021 urging companies to resolve the claims against them, the FOS said it managed to secure up to £22m ($29m, €26.4m) for consumers.
This involved more than 90 businesses ending up making 6,877 compensation offers to customers; including more than £10m of redress in “authorised” scam complaints with over 2,000 victims being refunded the money they lost.
The average offer via the initiative was £3,200 per case.
The company with the highest number of offers made during the period was NatWest with 1,039, followed by PayPal (Europe) (862), Lloyds Banking Group (834), Santander UK (673), and Revolut (615). The top nine spots were taken by banks and e-money services, while Phoenix Group ended up in tenth position with 129 compensation offers.
Move forward with action plan
Nausicaa Delfas, chief executive and chief ombudsman of the FOS, said: “We are delighted that many financial businesses have responded to our initiative and have helped customers get their complaints resolved more quickly.
“This was just one of a range of initiatives we put in place to address the large backlog of complaints received during covid-19. The backlog is now a third of what it was at the beginning of last year.
“We are now moving forward with our action plan to change and improve the Financial Ombudsman for the future.”