Financial Ombudsman Service—eligible complainants
Financial Ombudsman Service—eligible complainants

The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Financial Ombudsman Service—eligible complainants
  • What is an 'eligible complainant'?
  • Relationship between complainant and respondent
  • Exceptions

What is an 'eligible complainant'?

In order to refer a complaint to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), a person must be an 'eligible complainant'. This applies irrespective of the jurisdiction under which the complaint is brought.

A complaint may only be dealt with under the FOS if it is brought by, or on behalf of, an eligible complainant. Further, as long as the complainant is eligible, the complaint can be brought on their behalf by a person authorised by them to do so, or a person legally entitled to do so, even if that person (the agent) is not themselves an eligible complainant—for example, if the complainant chooses to be represented by a claims management company (CMC), or family member. In order for the eligible complainant to authorise another to act on their behalf, they must sign the FOS complaint form, and fill in the relevant section with the third party's details. It the complainant chooses to be represented, the FOS will deal with the representative directly instead of the complainant.

A complaint can also be brought on behalf of a deceased person who would have been an eligible complainant. The third party/agent must be able to show that he was authorised by the deceased person, or authorised by law, to handle the deceased person’s estate—for example, if he is listed