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26-02-2019

Simon Duncan, Senior Associate at Moon Beever explains the new FOS jurisdiction.

From 01 April 2019 the FOS has new powers to resolve financial disputes.  From that date the FOS can consider claims from a wider range of complainants, including micro-enterprises, consumers, charities with an annual income less than £6.5M, trustees of trusts with a net asset value of less than £5M and SMEs.

SMEs must have an annual turnover of less than £6.5 M and under 50 employees or less than a £5 M balance sheet to complain to FOS.

The FOS can also award up to £350,000 for conduct post-01 April 2019.  This is a significant increase from £150,000 now.  Complaints are usually dealt with on paper but a hearing can be held.  Generally the complaint must be filed within 6 months of the final response from the company that is the target of the complaint.

This makes the risk/reward more attractive to SMEs with complaints. 

SMEs will prefer the FOS over the Court process because:

  • There is no adverse costs risk
  • There is no need to have expensive third party funding
  • There is no need to have expensive After-the Event insurance

The FOS is not obliged to strictly follow the law.  The FOS is guided by what is fair and reasonable in the circumstances.

However, disputes do need to be set out properly.

Moon Beever can help you formulate and prosecute your claim through the FOS and we will undertake the work on risk so that you pay nothing if you do not receive any award. We have specialists who can advise you and guide you through the process. Contact sduncan@moonbeever.com or fcoulson@moonbeever.com to discuss how we can help you.

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