The FOS Dispute Resolution Process.
There are three key stages in the FOS dispute resolution process.
The first stage is Registration and Referral.
If the dispute is not resolved the second stage is Case Management.
The final stage is the Decision.
An applicant lodges a dispute with FOS.
Has the financial services provider (FSP) had an opportunity to complete its IDR process?
If the answer is NO, in most cases, we will give the FSP up to 45 days to resolve the dispute directly.
If the answer is YES, in most cases, the FSP has 21 days to resolve the dispute directly.
When a complaint remains unresolved, it will be referred to a case worker. In most cases, you will deal directly with a single FOS staff member.
The first thing we will consider is whether the dispute falls within our jurisdiction.
There are some things that we cannot deal with as these fall outside our jurisdiction.
Is it a low-value and simple dispute?
We have created two distinct streams, ensuring disputes are considered efficiently and effectively. These streams are "Fast Track" and "Standard and Complex". Within Standard and Complex we have a customised process for financial difficulty disputes.
If YES the dispute will move to the Fast Track stream. We review the information and try to resolve the dispute through a joint conference call or separate calls by an Adjudicator to both parties. If it cannot be resolved through these discussions an adjudicator will issue a decision.
If NO the dispute will move to the Standard and Complex stream.
Does the situation primarily involve financial difficulty?
If YES the dispute will move to the financial difficulty stream: a tailored process, characterised by regular over-the-phone engagement.
We will work with both parties to resolve the dispute in the most appropriate method.
If NO, where appropriate, we try to resolve the dispute through negotiation or conciliation and early guidance.
We provide a preliminary view on the merits of the dispute.
If a dispute is not resolved by an agreement between the parties, or through preliminary view, then a decision about the merits of the dispute will be issued.
For Standard and Complex disputes an Ombudsman or Panel reviews the dispute, and all relevant information, and makes a Determination.
For Financial Difficulty disputes an Ombudsman reviews the dispute, and all relevant information, and makes a Determination.
For Fast Track disputes an Adjudicator reviews the dispute, and all relevant information, and makes a Determination.
A financial services provider is bound by a Determination if an applicant accepts it.
For more information please see the Resolving Disputes section on the FOS website.