Financial Ombudsman Service charging professional representatives – Law Society response

We've responded to the Financial Ombudsman Service's consultation on charging claims management companies and other professional representatives.

The proposals

In changes introduced by the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, the UK government received a new power to make regulations on the fees charged by the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The Financial Ombudsman Service is consulting on the introduction of rules to charge CMCs and other professional representatives a case fee.

The consultation sought views on the fee level and mechanism for charging, and the broader impact on both consumers and professional representatives.

Our view

We do not object to the principles behind the introduction of the case fee.

The consultation shows only a small number of professional representatives are bringing more than three cases per year to the service, meaning only a small number would be affected by the introduction of this fee.

It also outlines the use of a professional representative does not necessarily increase a claimant’s chance at achieving a favourable outcome, which mitigates the risk to access to justice.

However, it is important the implementation of a case fee does not create barriers to accessing the service or make it difficult for claimants who would benefit from the support of a professional representative to do so.

The introduction of any fee should be accompanied by guidance for professional representatives, as well as signposting for claimants who may be looking to access the service without a professional representative.

Next steps

The consultation closed on 4 July 2024.

Read the consultation on the Financial Ombudsman Service website

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