I was delighted to be asked to undertake an independent review of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Both my legal career and my political career have involved me closely with questions of service standards, rights of redress, alternative dispute resolution and accessibility.
Much of the focus of this independent review has been devoted to that last question: how to ensure that the FOS is as open, approachable and user-friendly as it can reasonably be expected to be; and also that it sets reasonable expectations of what it can do and what it can’t do.
Though I have followed the activities of the Ombudsman with great interest from the outset, I had no preconceptions about the best way forward. I very much enjoyed considering submissions from every kind of stakeholder during the review and I weighed all the evidence carefully and impartially.
I have now published my report which is available on this website. I style my report as an agenda for change – and very much hope that the ombudsman service and its board have the necessary confidence to seize the great opportunity that now lies before them.