The FOS has been set up to resolve disputes between consumers and firms. Its decision making is independent of the FSA. The FOS provides a mechanism for resolving disputes, which is a simple, informal and accessible alternative to the courts. FOS's compulsory jurisdiction covers complaints against authorised firms concerning their regulated activities and certain other specified financial services activities. It is provided free of charge to complainants. FOS's decisions are based on what is 'fair and reasonable' and are binding on firms if a complainant accepts them. The rules relating to the FOS are in DISP. For further information on the FOS, please see its website at www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk.
The FOS is funded in part by a general levy (payable by all firms covered by the scheme) and in part by case fees (i.e. a fee paid by firms for each chargeable complaint against them handled by the FOS).
The following chapters of this Guide are also relevant:
Complaints - Part I, Chapter 14