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DISP 3.9 Awards by the Ombudsman

Money awards

DISP 3.9.1G

As provided for under section 229 of the Act (Awards), if a complaint is determined in favour of the complainant, the determination may include:

  1. (1)

    a money award against the firm of such amount as the Ombudsman considers fair compensation for financial loss or for loss or damage of a kind specified in DISP 3.9.2 G and subject to the maximum limit in DISP 3.9.5 R; or

  2. (2)

    a direction that the firm 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); or

  3. (3)

    both of these.


Where the Ombudsman decides to make a money award, in addition to (or instead of) awarding compensation for financial loss, he may award compensation for the following kinds of loss or damage, whether or not a court would award compensation:

  1. (1)

    pain and suffering; or

  2. (2)

    damage to reputation; or

  3. (3)

    distress or inconvenience.

DISP 3.9.3G

For the purposes of awards by the Ombudsman, financial loss includes consequential or prospective loss.

DISP 3.9.4G

In determining, in relation to a relevant new complaint, what amount (if any) constitutes fair compensation for the purposes of a money award, the Ombudsman is required under article 7(2) of the Ombudsman Transitional Order 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 commencement.

Limits on money awards

DISP 3.9.5R

The maximum money award which the Ombudsman may make is £100,000.

DISP 3.9.6G

If the Ombudsman considers that an amount more than the maximum is required as fair compensation, then he may in addition recommend to the firm that it pays the balance.

DISP 3.9.7G

The Ombudsman may specify in his award that reasonable interest must be paid on the award (at the rate and from the date he states).

DISP 3.9.8G

For the purposes of calculating the monetary limit referred to in DISP 3.9.5 R the amount of interest awarded does not form part of the award itself.

DISP 3.9.9G

The limit on the maximum money award has no bearing on any direction which an Ombudsman may make as part of a determination.


DISP 3.9.10R

When the Ombudsman finds in a complainant's favour, he may also award an amount which covers some or all of the costs which were reasonably incurred by the complainant in respect of the complaint.

DISP 3.9.11G

It is not anticipated that awards of costs will be common, since in most cases complainants should not need to have professional advisers to bring complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

DISP 3.9.12R

The amount payable under the award of costs may, if the Ombudsman orders, bear interest at a reasonable rate specified in the order and from a date specified in the order.

DISP 3.9.13G

For the purposes of calculating the monetary limit specified in DISP 3.9.5 R, an award of costs does not form part of the award itself.

Complying with awards and settlements

DISP 3.9.14R

A firm must comply promptly with:

  1. (1)

    any money award or direction made by the Ombudsman or any award of money or other award made by an ombudsman appointed under the PIA Ombudsman scheme (including any interest payable by order of the PIA Ombudsman or the Ombudsman); and1

  2. (2)

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

DISP 3.9.15R

The Ombudsman must maintain a register of each money award and direction made.

DISP 3.9.16G

A money award registered in accordance with DISP 3.9.15 R can be recovered or enforced through the courts under paragraph 16 of Schedule 17 to the Act.

DISP 3.9.17G

A complainant may enforce a direction by injunction or order in accordance with section 229(9) of the Act (Awards).