Financial Ombudsman launches new service for small firms

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The Financial Ombudsman has launched a new service designed to help even more small firms settle disputes with financial services firms.

The new website, found here, comes after the watchdog expanded its remit to include a further 210,000 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

The changes mean that small businesses with an annual turnover below £6.5 million and fewer than 50 employees, or an annual balance sheet below £5 million, can now use the ombudsman to resolve a complaint.

Alongside this change, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has also recently published a consultation on raising the maximum amount of compensation the ombudsman service can require financial services firms to pay out from £150,000 to £300,000.

Small businesses can use the Financial Ombudsman if they are not happy with how a financial services firm has handled a complaint. The watchdog has the power to put things right in a number of ways – including asking the company to pay your business compensation. You can make a complaint about a financial services firm in areas such as banking and credit, insurance, financial advice and investments and pensions.

Commenting on the new changes, Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive of the Financial Ombudsman Service, said: “Every year we help thousands of small businesses get fair answers to complaints about financial services. From today, around 200,000 more small businesses will be able to bring their complaints to the ombudsman service. We’re looking forward to this opportunity to help more businesses get fair resolution to these disputes.”

Please note that the Financial Ombudsman can only look at complaints from small businesses if it relates to events that occurred on or after 01 April 2019.

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