This section answers a number of frequently-asked questions (FAQs) about:
why should a sole trader or partner still be covered by the ombudsman after they have ceased trading?
People providing professional services recognise that they have responsibilities and duties of care to their clients, which mean they cannot walk away and leave problems behind.
The full implications of financial – and particularly investment – transactions may only emerge some time later. So professionals working as sole traders or partnerships in this sector often take out insurance specifically to cover themselves – personally – against complaints or liabilities (against them and/or former partners) that might arise after they stop trading or retire.
Under the complaints-handling rules, businesses continue to be responsible for dealing with former customers' complaints – and continue to come within our jurisdiction – even if they cease to trade and are no longer authorised.
There are some exceptions – for example, if you were an investment advisory firm that only ever came under the former regulator, FIMBRA.
Of course, businesses' responsibilities in relation to customers' complaints are not open-ended. The complaints-handling rules also set time-limits for consumers to complain, after which complaints become "time-barred".
For more details see our special factsheet: