Financial Ombudsman Service boss insists service is making positive difference

A boss at the Financial Ombudsman Service has insisted that the body is making a positive difference, following concerns raised that some cases it has handled may not have been decided correctly.

Caroline Wayman, chief ombudsman and chief executive of the service, was asked by MPs on the Treasury Committee whether she believes the service is making a positive difference to consumers' lives.

She said: "I do, genuinely... we make difficult decisions every single day.

"Do I think we can do better? Absolutely I do."

Ms Wayman continued: "We are seeing ever more complex cases."

The hearing follows concerns raised after a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation into the service, which has been dealing with surges in payment protection insurance (PPI) complaints in recent years.

The Dispatches programme suggested significant numbers of cases may need to be looked at again after finding evidence that staff with inadequate training or knowledge were deciding people's complaints against financial firms.

Concerns have also been raised that pressure to resolve cases quickly could have led to banks being wrongly favoured.

Ms Wayman said that if there was any doubt about whether staff should meet a target or get a fair answer for the customer "it's the second one".

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