Boss of scam police the Financial Ombudsman Service quits over 158,000 case logjam
Backlog: Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman announced her resignation yesterday
The head of the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has stepped down amid a mounting backlog of complaints.
Chief ombudsman Caroline Wayman announced her resignation yesterday after Money Mail revealed how a logjam of 158,000 complaints was waiting to be cleared.
The ombudsman service, which handles financial disputes, is the last resort and hope for cheated consumers fighting for their money back. It is understood Wayman told staff of her departure on Tuesday.
She publicly announced the decision yesterday, writing on networking site LinkedIn that it had been an ‘honour and a privilege to have led the service’.
Money Mail revealed yesterday how one in six complaints were over a year old and 11,648 date back for more than two years.
Pressure had been mounting at the organisation, which was set up by Parliament in 2001, with the pandemic prompting a 50 per cent surge in complaints.
But the issues go back years. In 2018 the Ombudsman came under fire after a Channel 4 investigation revealed staff were inadequately trained, with many ruling in favour of the banks without looking at files properly.
Earlier this year the Treasury committee expressed concern at the ‘effectiveness’ of the FOS.
Baroness Manzoor, chairman of the FOS, said: ‘Caroline’s departure comes at the end of a long career, during which time she’s played a key role in significant milestones in the service’s history.’
Gary Rycroft, a partner at solicitors Joseph A. Jones & Co, says: ‘It is unfortunate timing to lose a leader of an organisation when one is very much needed to deal with the collapse in service standards.’