Financial Ombudsman Service
The ombudsman is the independent service set up by parliament to sort out complaints that consumers and financial businesses haven’t been able to resolve themselves. It is completely impartial and free for consumers to use.
They run free training events (see dates below) for consumer advice workers across the UK, which caseworkers and researchers have previously attended – and they’d be very pleased to welcome more.
Registration is from 9.30am for a 10am start and the sessions finish by 4pm. A light lunch is provided. The schedule covers:
- the ombudsman’s role and powers, which complaints they can consider and how they can help
- the decision making process – how they resolve disputes and settle complaints
- their approach to complaints about the treatment of consumers in financial difficulties
- hot topics including PPI, payday loans and unaffordable lending
- help available for consumers with physical or mental illness or accessibility needs
- ‘case talk’ – what’s on your desk?
You can book your place by returning a form from www.financial-ombudsman.org.uk/news/out-and-about.htm.
If you have any questions about the events, please email outreach@financial-ombudsman.
Any non-event or constituency enquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The ombudsman is planning several constituency drop-in sessions for 2013/14, which will be listed on their website. They also run free workshops for small businesses, which aim to improve their knowledge of how the ombudsman works as well as to promote good complaint-handling.
W4MP hears that the next scheduled events early in 2013 are:
- 30 January, in Stratford, London E15
- Reading on 13 February
- Chelmsford on 27 February
These events aren’t specifically for MPs’ staff, but they’re intended to inform anyone working with the public about the ombudsman and how they can help. They’ve had caseworkers attend in the past, as well as representatives from well-known charities and local community groups.