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FOS focuses on debt

The most recent edition of Ombudsman News focuses on enquiries FOS has received about debt collection – on credit cards, loans and mortgages. It took on over 1,000 complaints in the area during 2018. As a result, it wants debt collection firms to improve how they support vulnerable customers.

Nearly half the complaints related to one of (i) whether the customer was being asked for the right amount of money, (ii) customer service or (iii) where the debt being chased did not belong to the person being chased.

FOS found a number of good practices in the course of its investigations, including a flexible attitude within firms, recognition of industry standards, and telling customers about debt charities. But it also included several case studies from disgruntled customers. In many of the cases, though, the lender was not at fault.

Otherwise, PPI was still the most complained about product in the third quarter of 2018/19, accounting for nearly half of complains received. The figures for payday loan complaints dropped, but are still high over the year to date. FOS upheld roughly a third of complaints.

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Emma Radmore