An ombudsman is an office or a person who acts as an intermediary between citizens and the authorities. The main aim of the ombudsman office is to resolve conflicts and settle disputes that may arise between parties. In the UK, the office of the financial ombudsman was established so as to provide a forum for settling conflicts and complaints between individuals or businesses and players in the financial sector. These include banks, mortgage lenders, insurance companies and other players in this industry.
The office of the financial ombudsman is basically meant to deal with complaints that arise from UK residents and businesses providing financial services such as credit card companies, brokerage firms, stocks, shares and bonds traders, savings and credit firms, and even money transfer companies. All these firms can be referred to the financial ombudsman if a customer feels that they were unfairly treated.
The consumer who believes that they have been unfairly treated by a financial institution needs to first forward the complaint to that financial institution so they may try and resolve it. This is before they can file a complaint with the office of the ombudsman.
Many UK residents often feel cheated or unfairly treated by financial institutions such as banks and insurance companies. These complaints are usually significant enough to inflict some loss of one kind or other to the customer. However, it becomes pretty hard for them to receive a hearing from senior executives of the particular financial firm, and since most people cannot afford the services of a lawyer or solicitor, often let the matter end without having resolved the matter.
By referring the matter to the office of the financial ombudsman, UK residents are able to receive a reprieve from their financial woes. The office of the ombudsman will receive their complaint and then make a decision regarding the particular case. The ombudsman will be guided by the codes of practice, relevant laws pertaining to that financial sector, sector regulations and regulator guidelines as well guidelines and industry standards. The ombudsman will then make a finding that is supposed to be fair, impartial and unbiased.
The ombudsman office provides a great relief to many regular UK residents who may receive unfair or unjust treatment from players in the financial industry. Most cases regarding finance such as credit card matters, mortgage issues, loans and others, can be referred to the ombudsman for resolution. The ombudsman will make a finding, and if they find that a business is in the wrong and has caused the complainant to suffer loss, then they will order that the situation be made right.