The Ombudsman may dismiss a complaint without considering its merits if he:
is satisfied that the complainant has not suffered, or is unlikely to suffer, financial loss, material distress or material inconvenience; or
considers the complaint to be frivolous or vexatious; or
considers that the complaint clearly does not have any reasonable prospect of success; or
is satisfied that the firm has already made an offer of compensation which is fair and reasonable in relation to the circumstances alleged by the complainant and which is still open for acceptance; or
is satisfied that the complaint relates to a transaction which the firm in question has reviewed in accordance with the regulatory standards for the review of such transactions prevailing at the time of the review, or in accordance with the terms of a scheme order under section 404 of the Act (Schemes for reviewing past business), including, if appropriate, making an offer of redress to the complainant, unless he is of the opinion that the standards or terms of the scheme order did not address the particular circumstances of the case; or
is satisfied that the matter has previously been considered or excluded under the Financial Ombudsman Service, or a former scheme (unless material new evidence likely to affect the outcome has subsequently become available); or
is satisfied that the matter has been dealt with, or is being dealt with, by a comparable independent complaints scheme or dispute resolution process; or
is satisfied that the subject matter of the complaint has been the subject of court proceedings where there has been a decision on the merits; or
is satisfied that the subject matter of the complaint is the subject of current court proceedings unless proceedings are stayed or sisted (by agreement of all parties or order of the court) in order that the matter may be considered under the Financial Ombudsman Service; or
considers that it would be more suitable for the matter to be dealt with by a court, arbitration or another complaints scheme; or
is satisfied that it is a complaint about the legitimate exercise of a firm's commercial judgment; or
is satisfied that it is a complaint about employment matters from an employee or employees of a firm; or
is satisfied that it is a complaint about investment performance; or
is satisfied that it is a complaint about a firm's decision when exercising a discretion under a will or private trust; or
is satisfied that it is a complaint about a firm's failure to consult beneficiaries before exercising a discretion under a will or private trust, where there is no legal obligation to consult; or
is satisfied that a complaint which involves or might involve more than one eligible complainant has been referred without the consent of the other complainant or complainants and the Ombudsman considers that it would be inappropriate to deal with the complaint without that consent; or
is satisfied that there are other compelling reasons why it is inappropriate for the complaint to be dealt with under the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Under article 5(2)(c) of the Ombudsman Transitional Order, the Ombudsman, in deciding whether a relevant complaint is to be dismissed without consideration of its merits, is to take into account whether an equivalent complaint would have been so dismissed under the former scheme in question, as it had effect immediately before commencement.
1Under article 4(2) of the Mortgage and General Insurance Complaints Transitional Order, the Ombudsman, in deciding whether a relevant transitional complaint is to be dismissed without consideration of its merits, must take into account whether an equivalent complaint would have been so dismissed under the former scheme in question, as it had effect immediately before the relevant commencement date.
In DISP 3.3.1 R (5) the transaction could, for example, be a pension transaction which has been reviewed by the firm in accordance with the relevant regulatory standards. The Ombudsman may decide not to proceed with a complaint about the result of that review unless he considers that the standards or guidance published by the regulator did not address the particular circumstances of the case.
When deciding if it would be suitable for a complaint to be dealt with outside the Financial Ombudsman Service (DISP 3.3.1 R (10)), the Ombudsman may consider whether, in view of a conflict of evidence, a fair resolution of the complaint could be achieved only through examination of the evidence by the courts.