Reforming the Role of the Financial Services Ombudsman

Abstract

Although the recent reforms are highly beneficial for consumers, the ombudsman service has received little attention. The formal process of adjudication has been explored in much detail, but there are still gaps remain in understanding of models of informal justice systems in Europe. This is particularly relevant to the ombudsman services. The sparse existing literature on ombudsman deals mainly with the global spread of the ombudsman concept since the 1960’, but it does not deal in detail with the effectiveness of this institution and the comparative perspective in this area. Overall, the vast number of criticisms aimed at the UK ombudsman stems from the fact that this system is not as effective as the court system. The remedy for this situation would be to incorporate certain solutions from Ireland and Scandinavia, especially from Finland, such as group actions and the facilitation of the system to use in normal courts. Such changes that have developed in other jurisdictions, especially Finland, are worth observing but should not be replicated without a thorough, well-thought-through reform, including the procedure, budgets and legal aid for such actions. Incremental changes might be very effective. However, due the strong lobby of the insurers, the change might occur in relation to a crisis such it had happened in Ireland.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, s 228(5).

  2. 2.

    Clark v IN Focus Asset Management and Tax Solutions Ltd (2014) EWCA Civ 118; (2014) 1 W.L.R. 2502 (CA (Civ Div)); Andrews v SBJ Benefit Consultants (2011) PNLR 577.

  3. 3.

    Versloot Dredging BV and another v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others (2016) UKSC 46, para 111.

  4. 4.

    Art 96, in an official English translation by Sarah V Thorelii, The Constitution of Sweden (1954).

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Legislation

  1. Financial Services and Markets Act. 2000. s 228(5).

Cases

  1. Andrews v SBJ Benefit Consultants. 2011. PNLR 577.

  2. Clark v IN Focus Asset Management and Tax Solutions Ltd. 2014. EWCA Civ 118; [2014] 1 W.L.R. 2502 (CA (Civ Div)).

  3. Versloot Dredging BV and another v HDI Gerling Industrie Versicherung AG and others. 2016. UKSC 46.

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Correspondence to Dorots Galeza.

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Galeza, D. Reforming the Role of the Financial Services Ombudsman. Liverpool Law Rev (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10991-020-09249-w

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Keywords

  • Comparative thinking
  • European financial markets
  • Administrative change
  • Financial ombudsman