FCA Panels respond on FOS 2024 Plans and Budget

FCA Practitioner Panel and FCA Smaller Business Practitioner Panel have responded to FOS 2024/25 Plans and Budget and the consultation on charging professional representatives.

The Practitioner Panel:

  • supports the £100 reduction in the FOS case fee, a decrease to the compulsory and voluntary jurisdiction levies on businesses and other improvements in the Plans and Budget;
  • strongly supports applying case fees to CMCs and relevant legal professionals. It believes in the clear need to disincentivise professional representatives from seeking profit from the submission of large volumes of unmeritorious complaints;
  • encourages FOS to take a firm approach to charging higher fees for professional representatives abusing the system based on an assessment of whether, and the extent to which, they have demonstrated irresponsible behaviour or deliberately submitted spurious complaints.

The Smaller Business Practitioner Panel:

  • welcomes the proposals set out in the Plans and Budgets;
  • strongly supports the application of case fees to CMCs and relevant legal professionals, in line with the ‘polluter pays’ principle. It believes this will deter poor practices and should over time lead to lower volumes of complaints submitted to FOS. It emphasises that this practice places increasing pressure on smaller businesses, many of which have limited resources;
  • believes that higher fees should be applied where the conduct is at the most egregious and the full case fee should apply to CMCs which engage in high volume, speculative activity, where the case is not upheld;
  • encourages close collaboration between FOS, FCA and FSCS if the changes are implemented, to ensure that unintended consequences are not passed on to consumers.

Vida Fatemi