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government minister visits ombudsman

19 October 2011

Mark Hoban MP, the government's Financial Secretary to the Treasury, visited the ombudsman's office today - to see at first hand the work involved in resolving consumers' complaints.

The minister began his visit by listening to calls on our consumer helpline. With phone calls to our front-line coming in at a rate of over 300 an hour during the busy late-morning period, the minister was able to listen to a range of concerns and complaints that consumers raised with us directly about financial services. These included:

  • a consumer who had been referred to us by his local trading standards department;
  • a call from someone whose finance company had refused to deal with their complaint and insisted instead that the problem should be referred to a car leasing company; and
  • a consumer who was unhappy about a bank's offer to settle their complaint.

The minister then met and chatted with adjudicators and ombudsmen who work on complaints involving payment protection insurance (PPI) - which make up around half of our workload. He was interested to see how complex some of these cases can be to resolve, particularly when they relate to events that happened many years ago.

The minister later joined our board of non-executive directors to talk about the government's plans for reforming financial regulation - followed by a round-table Q&A session.

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image: Mark Hoban MP, visits the Financial Ombudsman Service
minister, Mark Hoban MP, with chief ombudsman, Natalie Ceeney, listening in to phone calls on our consumer helpline