The Freedom of Information Act 2000 gives you the right to be told whether we hold specific information - and if we do, to be given a copy (unless an exemption applies).
Before you make a request, take a look at our publication scheme – we publish the information we’re asked for most often, so you’ll probably be able to find what you need there. And if you want information about a specific case you have with us, you should ask the person who is handling your case. If they have the information, they’ll be able to give it to you straight away – and if not, they’ll let you know if and how we can get it for you.
You can ask for any information we might hold. You can ask a general question, or request specific documents – but to help us provide what you’re looking for, you should be as specific as possible.
You can request information about other people under the Freedom of Information Act, but we may not be able to provide this information if it would unfairly reveal personal information about them.
In general, when we receive a request for information, we’ll confirm whether we have that information – and if we do, we’ll pass the information on to the person who asked for it.
But we do hold some information which might not be suitable to give out to the public. There are some reasons why we might be “exempt” from releasing information – as well as from confirming whether or not we hold certain information – and these are set out in the legislation.
We also might not be able to answer your question if we would need to create new information – or give an opinion or judgment which isn’t already recorded. And if it's likely to cost us more than £450 – or take longer than 18 hours’ worth of work – to find and provide you with the information, we might not be able to give you what you’ve asked for.
If you want to see personal information we hold about you, you should let the person looking into your complaint know what you’re looking for – and we can often provide this for free.
Individuals can’t request information about themselves under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 – these requests are covered by the Data Protection Act 1998. Depending on what you need, you might need to make a subject access request.
We don’t charge for making a request under the Freedom of Information Act. But if you want personal information, there’s usually a £10 charge if you need to make a subject access request.
If you would like to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, email our information rights team at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at:
information rights team
Financial Ombudsman Service
PO Box 73208
We can’t accept requests over the phone – as the legislation says your request must be in writing. You’ll also need to include your real name, and an email or postal address for us to respond to.
There might be times when we need more information before we can start dealing with your request – if that’s the case, we’ll let you know. Otherwise, once we’ve received your request, we’ll reply as soon as we can – and within 20 working days. If we can't provide you with a copy of the information – or if we need more time to consider your request – we’ll explain why.
If you're not satisfied with our response, contact our information rights team as soon as possible – and within two months from the date of our response.
You can contact us in writing or by email.
We’ll get back to you as soon we can but within 20 working days.
And if you’re still unhappy after we’ve reviewed our response, you can contact the Information Commissioner's Office:
Information Commissioner's Office
phone: 0303 123 1113