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DISP 3.7 Awards by the Ombudsman

DISP 3.7.1R

Where a complaint is determined in favour of the complainant, the Ombudsman's determination may include one or more of the following:14

  1. (1)

    a money award against the respondent; or14

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  2. (2)

    an interest award against the respondent; or14

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  3. (3)

    a costs award against the respondent; or14

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  4. (4)

    a direction to the respondent.14

Money awards

DISP 3.7.2R

Except in relation to a “relevant complaint” within the meaning of section 404B(3) of the Act7, a6 money award may be such amount as the Ombudsman considers to be fair compensation for one or more of the following:

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  1. (1)

    financial loss (including consequential or prospective loss); or

  2. (2)

    pain and suffering; or

  3. (3)

    damage to reputation; or

  4. (4)

    distress or inconvenience;

whether or not a court would award compensation.14

DISP 3.7.2AG

6In relation to a “relevant complaint” within the meaning of section 404B(3) of the Act7, a money award is a payment of such amount as the Ombudsman determines that a respondent should make (or should have made) to a complainant under the scheme.

DISP 3.7.2BG

6A money award under DISP 3.7.2A G may specify the date by which the amount awarded is to be paid.

DISP 3.7.3G

14Where the Ombudsman is determining what amount (if any) constitutes fair compensation as a money award in relation to a relevant new complaint or a relevant transitional complaint, the Ombudsman Transitional Order and the Mortgages and General Insurance Complaints Transitional Order require him to take into account what amount (if any) might have been expected to be awarded by way of compensation in relation to an equivalent complaint dealt with under the former scheme in question immediately before the relevant transitional order came into effect.

DISP 3.7.4R

14The maximum money award which the Ombudsman may make is £150,000.25

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DISP 3.7.4AG

3The effect of section 404B(5) of the Act is that the maximum award which the Ombudsman may make also applies in relation to a “relevant complaint” within the meaning of section 404B(3) of the Act.7

DISP 3.7.5G

14For the purpose of calculating the maximum money award, the following are excluded:

  1. (1)

    any interest awarded on the amount payable under a money award;

  2. (2)

    any costs awarded; and

  3. (3)

    any interest awarded on costs.

DISP 3.7.6G

14If the Ombudsman considers that fair compensation requires payment of a larger amount, he may recommend that the respondent pays the complainant the balance. The effect of section 404B(6) of the Act is that this is also the case in relation to a “relevant complaint” within the meaning of section 404B(3) of the Act.7

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DISP 3.7.7R

14The Ombudsman will maintain a register of each money award.

Interest awards

DISP 3.7.8R

1 4 Except in relation to a “relevant complaint” within the meaning of section 404B(3) of the Act7, an6 interest award may provide for the amount payable under the money award to bear interest at a rate and as from a date specified in the award.

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DISP 3.7.8AG

6A money award under DISP 3.7.2A G may provide for interest to be payable, at a rate specified in the award, on any amount which is not paid by the date specified in the award.

Costs awards

DISP 3.7.9R

14A costs award may:

  1. (1)

    be such amount as the Ombudsman considers to be fair, to cover some or all of the costs which were reasonably incurred by the complainant in respect of the complaint; and

  2. (2)

    include interest on that amount at a rate and as from a date specified in the award.

DISP 3.7.10G

14In most cases complainants should not need to have professional advisers to bring complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service, so awards of costs are unlikely to be common.

Directions

DISP 3.7.11R

1 4 Except in relation to a “relevant complaint” within the meaning of section 404B(3) of the Act7, a6 direction may require the respondent 6 to take such steps in relation to the complainant as the Ombudsman considers just and appropriate (whether or not a court could order those steps to be taken).

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DISP 3.7.11AG

6In relation to a “relevant complaint” within the meaning of section 404B(3) of the Act7, a direction may require the respondent to take such action as the Ombudsman determines the respondent should take (or should have taken) under the scheme.

Complying with awards and settlements

DISP 3.7.12R

14A respondent must comply promptly with:

  1. (1)

    any award or direction made by the Ombudsman; and

  2. (2)

    any settlement which it agrees at an earlier stage of the procedures.

DISP 3.7.13G

14Under the Act, a complainant can enforce through the courts a money award registered by the Ombudsman or a direction made by the Ombudsman.