January 22, 2018 / 10:22 AM / a year ago

UK watchdog proposes wider access to banks complaints scheme

LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - More companies should be allowed to complain to the Financial Ombudsman Service if they have been badly treated by their banks, Britain’s markets watchdog said on Monday.

The Financial Conduct Authority said that at present only the smaller firms have access to the FOS, which can arbitrate on a complaint and order compensation.

Without access to the FOS, a business would have to take a bank to court, a costly and time-consuming process.

“Our proposals extend this access to all businesses with fewer than 50 employees, annual turnover of under 6.5 million pounds ($9.04 million) and an annual balance sheet total of under 5 million pounds,” the FCA said in a statement.

“In total, we estimate around 160,000 more businesses will have access to the Ombudsman as a result of our proposals.” ($1 = 0.7193 pounds) (Reporting by Huw Jones, editing by Louise Heavens)

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