UK Ombudsman Resolves Only 5% of All Complaints Received in 4Q 2019

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The UK regulatory service tasked with reviewing complaints and enquiries from members of the public concerning authorized firms and other companies in the United Kingdom has reported some high figures for the last quarter of 2019. The service received a total of 195,851 new enquiries and 83,754 new complaints in the period, which highlights the heavy reliance on the government service to manage issues that arise with financial and other firms.

Out of the total number of complaints filed, only 9,160 were passed on to the ombudsman staff for a resolution and decision. This represents only 5% of the total number of complaints filed in the quarter. Moreover, when actually reviewing cases and filing a decision, the Ombudsman service upheld only 34% of the complaints it resolved.

While it’s understandable that the service may not be equipped to process every complaint thoroughly in concert with designated staff and attorneys in order to find a neutral and unbiased resolution, the low number of complaints accepted (5%) do not present the service as advantageous to traders, as there is seemingly a small chance that their complaints will be reviewed by staff at the service.

Since we do not know the internal policies of the Ombudsman regarding thresholds for accepting or denying complaints to be reviewed, we cannot access the changes of one case having success in resolved over another, yes such guidelines would be helpful to traders in particular as there are several avenues they can take, including using our independent and proven service of External Dispute Resolution. A deeper analysis of the Ombudsman statistics is warranted to also determine the average time of resolving an accepted dispute, as one would think that a substantial rise in the number of received or accepted disputes may negatively impact review and resolution times.

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