Financial Ombudsman Service—eligible complainants

The following Financial Services practice 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

Financial Ombudsman Service—eligible complainants

BREXIT: 11pm (GMT) on 31 December 2020 (‘IP completion day’) marked the end of the Brexit transition/implementation period entered into following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. Following IP completion day, key transitional arrangements come to an end and significant changes begin to take effect across the UK’s legal regime. This document contains guidance on subjects impacted by these changes. Before continuing your research, see Practice Note: Brexit and financial services: materials on the post-Brexit UK/EU regulatory regime. See also: FOS FAQs—Meaning of withdrawal from the EU for the FOS and its customers.

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,

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