An Ombudsman is basically a financial advisor who sorts out the complaints and financial matters of clients who cannot resolve their concerns alone. These issues include mortgages, insurance, banking, finance, pension, credit cards, loans, bank accounts, debit cards, debts, investments, social security, shares and all money related matters. They are individual advisors, but paid by the government. Hence, their services are free of charge to clients.
The Ombudsman is unbiased and handles matters on the perspective of both parties, rather than only the party who hires them. Their legal control enables them to order a refund, if a company has wronged someone, on the condition that the company in question has a turnover of less than £1.65 million. In the UK, the Ombudsman service is mainly attached to the Westminster parliament.
Individuals or financial companies are free to contact and seek the help of the Ombudsman service. If they have a complaint against any company or are unable to resolve a financial matter. The Ombudsman service basically provides help to citizens to fight against companies, if they are not treated fairly. However, the Ombudsman will only help individuals who have truly been wronged. If the Ombudsman thinks that the company has done nothing wrong, then the case is closed for the time being. The Ombudsman makes a decision based on the region’s law and the country’s constitution.
It should be kept in mind, that if an individual is wronged by a company, it must first complain to the company’s management. If the company rejects his case or does not reply at all, then he should contact the Financial Ombudsman service. On rejection a person can immediately seek the Ombudsman’s help. However, if there is no reply from the company on lodging the complaint, then it should be brought to the Ombudsman’s attention after a period of eight weeks. The Ombudsman settles most complaints within three months. However, some complaints could take up to a year to resolve.
If a company’s rejection letter informs an individual of his right to contact an Ombudsman, then he has three years to take his complaints to the Ombudsman. If the company does not inform him of this right, then the deadline for contacting the Ombudsman extends to six years.
Each decision by the Ombudsman Service is made by the caseworker investigating a person’s case. If the worker doesn’t rule the decision in the person’s favor, and he thinks that the worker is wrong, then he has the right to have his case further explored by a more experienced Ombudsman. After seeking a reinvestigation, it can take several months for the decision to be made.