Financial Ombudsman Service outlines policy on parallel proceedings

The Ombudsman's Banking & Finance – Bulletin 61 outlines the Ombudsman's position on some useful practical issues including when financial service providers must respond to requests for information from third parties and chargeback case studies.

Of particular interest is the Ombudsman's policy regarding legal proceedings running parallel to the complaints process:

Once a dispute has been lodged with our office, the financial services provider should not commence legal proceedings against its customer in respect of the same subject matter.

As a member of FOS, the member consents to FOS being the forum for consideration of a matter brought by its customer that falls within the FOS Terms of Reference.

If proceedings are commenced by a financial services provider after FOS has received a dispute, the financial services provider must discontinue the proceedings at its own cost.

If proceedings are issued by the financial services provider after the dispute is received by FOS and before we have informed the financial services provider that we have received the dispute, the issue of whether this is at the cost of the financial services provider will be considered on a case by case basis.

UPDATE: Customers in Financial Difficulty (factsheet)

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