Financial Ombudsman Service—voluntary jurisdiction
Financial Ombudsman Service—voluntary jurisdiction

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

  • Financial Ombudsman Service—voluntary jurisdiction
  • Voluntary jurisdiction—application
  • Voluntary jurisdiction—activities
  • Voluntary jurisdiction—territorial scope

The voluntary jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is defined in Chapter 2 of the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) Dispute Resolution: Complaints Sourcebook (DISP) rules, and is set out under section 227 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (FSMA 2000).

Under sections 227(1) and (2) of FSMA 2000, the FOS can consider a complaint which relates to an act or omission of a person (the respondent) in carrying on an activity to which voluntary jurisdiction rules apply if the following conditions are met:

  1. the complainant is eligible and wishes to have the complaint dealt with under the scheme

  2. at the time of the act or omission to which the complaint relates, the respondent was participating in the scheme

  3. at the time when the complaint is referred under the scheme, the respondent had not withdrawn from the scheme

  4. the act or omission to which the complaint relates occurred at a time when voluntary jurisdiction rules were in force in relation to the activity in question, and

  5. the complaint cannot be dealt with under the compulsory jurisdiction

Under section 227(3) of FSMA 2000, the FOS has the power to decide the scope and rules of the voluntary jurisdiction, and to specify to which activities they apply. However, under section 227(6) of FSMA 2000 they require the approval of the authority, which would