Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) Submissions – Complaints – Fixed Rate Loans – Content & Timing.
FOS Submissions – Critical Considerations and Content.
In terms of “opening the door” to financial redress, these submissions are critical for the survival of many businesses, never mind the continued existence and possible future success.
Anyone with a Fixed Rate Loan, Tailored Business Loan etc should consider making a FOS complaint EXCEPT perhaps where they feel that they are too large and may have the resources to fight the bank through the courts. Even if businesses fit into this category then the FOS route should still be considered as a ‘dummy run’ / starter for ten.
Remember, you MUST make a formal complaint to the bank FIRST or the FOS will not accept your complaint.
What is required in the FOS submission, is your story, as it happened and as the implications of the loan affected you, your business, your family and your life.
What is not required is a rewrite of your story with the benefit of hindsight.
Many businesses taking out fixed rate loans were amazed and confused at the implications of what they had been stuffed with. Consternation and fear gripped many people as they began to realise they were seriously at risk of losing a lifetimes work, and their pension, due to the premeditated, vicarious acts of the banks.
It is the unfurling of this revelation and the amazement (and fear) this produced which needs to be emphasised in your FOS story.
Keep it short and simple (KISS), and tell it as it (and how it) happened.
Do not start by summarising the Case at the beginning. BUT, Do feel free to summarise your case at the end, stressing that this analysis is done with hindsight, and does include technical terms, with which you are now (painfully) familiar.
For clarity, perhaps number. your paragraphs. Include your Facility Letters, Confirmation and any amendments as Exhibits to the FOS story.
Ask members of Nab Customer Support Group to cast an eye over your story prior to submission to the FOS.
Having made the initial Application wait until you have been allocated an Adjudicator and then submit further evidence including expert reports etc.
Timing of FOS Submission of Complaint.
IF your relationship with the Bank is deteriorating and you suspect they are going to act (via appointing an administrator, LPA Receiver etc.) and you haven’t yet submitted a complaint to the bank, then get your complaint into the bank as soon as possible.
This Complaint is an abbreviated form of the FOS application.
This Complaint will normally forestall action whilst the complaint is being considered.
When your Complaint is rejected by the Bank, you revisit and amend your FOS Application and submit it within 4 weeks.
Part of the FOS application may well be that you are expecting the bank to initiate foreclosure actions against you and that you want this “stopping” pending the outcome of the complaint.
The timing of the Complaint to the bank is critical: whilst it (preferably) must be made Before hostile action by the Bank, the complaint is a one shot wonder; so submit the Complaint as close as possible to hostilities.
Finally, IF the FOS uphold your complaint they can only force payment of £150K but can specify that you “put back to where to should have been without the mis-sale.”
You can always reject the financial offer and the ruling, which in principle you would otherwise be inclined to accept, and then go legal.
Fixed Rate Loan / Tailored Business Loan Financial Ombudsman Service Complaint Process – Bullet Points
- FOS complaint is your story as it happened, NOT with the benefit of hindsight
- Say how the fixed rate loan loan affected you, your business, your life
- KISS – Keep it short and simple, number paragraphs
- Include Facility Letters, Confirmation & any amendments as Exhibits (to your story)
- Get your story checked over by NCSG or similar for any inaccuracies etc
- Ensure your FOS complaint requests stop on bank foreclosure action until FOS investigation complete
- Submit complaint wait for FOS Adjudicator, then gather more evidence
- FOS hopefully upholds complaint and requests you be put back to where you were before the loan – awards up to 150K
- Accept or reject any decision, if unfavourable then litigate
Attributed to Terry Mulvenna, April 2014.