Financial Crime has been around for ever.
We must recognise that it is a crime, that has been here for a long time and everyone must be vigilant in order to tackle wrongdoing and call out criminals.
In the UK, the Financial Ombudsman Service was established in 2000 and under statutory powers given in 2001, it remains the leading organisation to help settle disputes between consumers and UK based businesses providing financial services, such as banks, building societies, insurance companies, investment firms, financial advisers and finance companies.
Consumers with complaints must complain initially to their bank or financial firm, to give them the opportunity of resolving matters. Banks or financial firms will investigate consumers concerns and complaints are often settled at this stage.
Should matters not be resolved, the Financial Ombudsman Service can deal with complaints from consumers about most financial matters including, for example: banking, insurance, mortgages, pensions, savings and investments, credit cards and store cards, loans and credit, hire purchase and pawnbroking, financial advice, stocks, shares, unit trusts and bonds.
From November 2009 money-transfer operators also came under the ombudsman's remit.
The business has a maximum of 8 weeks to resolve the complaint. If they do not resolve it within 8 weeks or the consumer is not happy with the response then they can refer the complaint to the ombudsman service.
The ombudsman has the authority to request or require a company to offer financial compensation, correct a consumer's credit file, or offer an apology, as a means of dispute resolution
Around 90% of the disputes that the Financial Ombudsman Service resolves are settled at earlier informal stages, without the intervention of an ombudsman. An ombudsman's decision is the final stage of the Financial Ombudsman Service's process. If the consumer with the complaint accepts a final decision, it is binding on both parties and enforceable in court.
The Rebecca Organisation will (shortly) offer the consumer one further step in dispute resolution through mediation.
However, consumers withe new or now wishing to appeal past claims based on new information, will have to return to the first stage where their bank or financial institution can investigate their complaint once more.
Consumers wishing to forward their complaints to the Rebecca Organisation will only be able to do so once the Financial Ombudsman Service have finished their own investigations.
Our Financial Crime office will be based at our Headquarters in South Wales.