The Court of Appeal Brings into Focus the Finality of Financial Ombudsman Service Awards
The financial services industry was rightly very concerned by the High Court’s decision in Clark v In Focus Asset Management & Tax Solutions Limited in 2012.
In summary, the High Court had ruled that the acceptance of an award from the Financial Ombudsman Service (“FOS”) did not prevent a complainant from then bringing Court proceedings to claim the balance of the loss from a firm, where that loss exceeded the FOS’ statutory maximum award of £100,000 (now £150,000).
In a very welcome decision handed down by the Court of Appeal on 14 February 2014, the Court overruled the High Court’s decision. This means that a complainant cannot now accept financial redress from a firm via the FOS and then pursue the firm in Court for further compensation in respect of the same complaint.