Individuals and small businesses (with a turnover of less than €2 million and fewer than 10 staff) can go to the Financial Ombudsman Service for redress should they encounter a problem of maladministration with a financial institution. If a ruling is made in favour of the complainant the FOS could order the institution to pay compensation of up to £100,000.
The Financial Services Authority has just confirmed its intention to increase the Financial Ombudsman Service's jurisdictional award limit from £100,000 to £150,000 on the basis that they want to ensure the protection offered to 'consumers' has not declined in real terms.
The old limit was set in 2001 and the new jurisdictional limit will apply to all complaints referred to the FOS on or after 1 January 2012.
It is also important to bear in mind that, as a result of a court ruling in November 2010, a complainant who accepts a final decision from the FOS is bound by it and will not subsequently be able to bring a civil claim to recover any losses above the FOS' jurisdictional limit.
This was first published in July 2011