The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) is an independent service that works to enable certain businesses and individuals resolve disputes between financial service businesses. Following a recent report, the FOS have been challenged by MPs as to whether or not disputes involving SMEs will be handled effectively.

As of now, complaints from businesses that have fewer than 10 employees and an annual turnover of up to €2 million are the only ones being currently reviewed. This is meant to change by December 2018 so that more SME’s will be included in the review. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) argues that a vast amount of SMEs are limited to certain options which they are able to use to help resolve disputes. Resolution in Court is also an option.

An independent review on the FOS made in July 2018, expresses how the Treasury Committee doesn’t think that the FOS are both ready and prepared to handle the expansion of complaints.

Quote from Nigel Holland:

“If the propositions are taken forward, this could lead to too much pressure for the FOS. This in turn could possibly result in their decision making being flawed and the business community suffering as a result.

The public already have low confidence in the FOS, and by adding pressure onto them by expanding the businesses they deal with, the public’s confidence may become further damaged.”