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What is the financial ombudsman and what does it do in relation to financial law services?

The financial ombudsman service can deal with complaints about most financial matters involving products and services provided in or from the UK.

The first step for any problem is to direct a complaint to the financial law services business that provided you with the financial law service or product. Once the financial law services business has investigated and responded to you, if you are still not satisfied, you can consider complaining to the financial ombudsman.

The ombudsman covers businesses regulated by the Financial Services Authority and businesses that have a consumer-credit licence issued by the Office of Fair Trading for their consumer-credit activities. It also covers complaints about some financial law services businesses that were regulated in the past and may not now appear on the FSA’s firm-check service and businesses that provide financial law services and products branded under other companies’ names.

The financial ombudsman service is a free and informal alternative to going to court. An ombudsman’s decision is final. If you do not accept the ombudsman’s decision you can still pursue the dispute via litigation.

If you make a complaint about a financial law services business which then goes bust, the financial ombudsman service will suspend its investigation and cannot where a financial law services business cannot meet financial claims made against it.

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