The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has published its plans and budget requirements for 2021, also revealing that the FOS received 40% more complaints in the first 6 months of 2020 than originally forecast.
Revised funding arrangements for 2020/21 budget due to Covid-19 were introduced in March and the ombudsman froze all minimum levies at 2019/20 levels using reserves to absorb the cost of these changes.
Latest forecasts show a deficit of £43 million, lower than the budgeted deficit of £53 million to the end of 2020/21.
During the first half of 2020/21 the FOS resolved around 93% of the complaints expected in general casework.
The FOS proposes to keep the minimum levy and retain the free case allowance despite pandemic pressures and have employed 400 new investigators this year.
The FOS has considered possible scenarios for complaint volumes ranging from 150,000 to 200, 000 new case in 2021/22 and expect the cost base to be £252,000 Million while the compulsory jurisdiction levy will be between £84 million and £106 million this is subject to feedback.
The deadline for consultation responses is 31st January 2021 and by 31st March 2021 the final plans and budget will be published.
The complaints culture that is the UK now can only mean ever more complaints with those costs ultimately passed back to consumers as financial companies pay more in fees to keep these available and free to the consumer but will need to charge more.