Financial Ombudsman Service—time limits

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

  • Financial Ombudsman Service—time limits
  • ADR Directive—what changed?
  • FOS—time limits
  • Six-month rule
  • Six and three-year rule
  • What constitutes a referral
  • Exceptional circumstances
  • Outside the scope of the general time-limit rules
  • Pensions review and FSAVC review
  • Mortgage endowments
  • More...

Financial Ombudsman Service—time limits

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: 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.

The time limits which apply to a complaint taken to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) are set out in Chapter 2 of the Dispute Resolution: Complaints (DISP) sourcebook in the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) Handbook. DISP 2.8.2 R states that the FOS cannot consider a complaint if the complainant refers it to the FOS more than:

  1. six months after the date on which the firm about which the complainant is complaining (the respondent) sent the complainant its final response, redress determination (issued under a consumer redress scheme) or summary resolution communication (summary resolution communication as defined under DISP 1.5.4 R) (and the response must tell the complainant about the 6 month time limit that the complainant has to refer the complaint to the FOS) (see below), or

  2. six years after the event complained of, or

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