Financial servicesOmbudsman publishes plans and budget for 2014/2015

The British Financial Ombudsman Service released its proposed plan and budget for the next financial year (2014/2015) – together with an update on numbers for the current financial year (2013/2014). 

The plan and budget set out how next year (2014/2015) the ombudsman is planning to: 

  • answer 1.8 million front-line consumer enquiries;
  • resolve more disputes involving mis-sold payment protection insurance (PPI) than ever before – a record 320,000 cases;
  • tackle 64,000 new banking complaints and 32,000 new insurance cases as well as another 150,000 new PPI cases;
  • reduce its budget by 20%.

In 2012/13, the ombudsman looked at 68,706 banking complaints, 33,172 insurance complaints, and 378,699 PPI complaints. Despite record volumes of case resolutions a “stock” of over 400,000 unresolved PPI cases remain that are to be handled this year. As a consequence the organisation’s size more than doubled in just 18 months due to significant investment in recruitment, process management, IT and the capability of staff members to prepare for this challenge. However, a turning point in the PPI work took place earlier in the year. Over the last two years, the Ombudsman received over 12,000 PPI cases per week, however, that is no longer the case. Numbers have now fallen to around 6,000 cases per week, and discussions with stakeholders suggest that this downward trend is likely to continue.

Tony Boorman, interim chief executive and chief ombudsman, said: “While we expect the volumes of PPI complaints to decline, the numbers are still likely to be substantial. Our plans take this into account – but we will still be relying heavily on the patience of consumers and the cooperation of businesses, before we will be able to draw a line under the PPI saga.”

Executive director of Which? Richard Lloyd said: “The high level of banking complaints and sheer volume of PPI cases going to the ombudsman show that the banks still have a long way to go to transform their culture.”

Source: Financial Ombudsman Service & Which?

More information: Plans and budget for 2014-2015