The Treasury Committee has published a response from FOS, received in December, answering various questions the Committee had posed about FOS’ action plan. The letter addresses several issues, including:
- the impact FOS hopes the Action Plan will have on its current backlog of cases. The response explains that FOS received over 60% more non-PPI complaints than it had budgeted for and was resourced to handle, in part due to complaints related to the pandemic. So, although FOS did resolve nearly all the complaints it had budgeted for, there were still nearly 90.000 complaints awaiting allocation at the end of the year. FOS now wants to reduce this to 50,000 by the end of the financial year and has already made significant progress – targeting the oldest cases and those where there is severe hardship and vulnerability. It hopes that the changes to its operating model, which will for example improve training, greater involvement of the Customer Help team and proactive working with firms, will make the likelihood of build ups less likely in the future;
- the impact of the plans on productivity: FOS is working hard to minimise disruption by planning how to take forward each recommendation; and
- whether there will be an increase in levy: FOs notes that it needs to make changes or else it will not be financially sustainale by 2024/25 and, as a result, it will be looking to change both case fees and levy, and plans to consult in the first quarter of 2022/23 on its plans (and has already consulted on the levy amount and the amount of free cases).