Financial Ombudsman Service Reviews

Updated 3 Jul 2020

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2.5
29%
Recommend to a Friend
28%
Approve of CEO
Financial Ombudsman Service Chief Executive and Chief Ombudsman  Caroline Wayman  (no image)
Caroline Wayman
343 Ratings
Pros
  • "Work that makes a difference, flexible working in an enjoyable environment(in 72 reviews)

  • "Good benefits, friendly colleagues(in 70 reviews)

Cons
  • "Also managers have no trust nor do they agree with senior management but do nothing to voice their opinions(in 89 reviews)

  • "Targets unrealistic for all investigators(in 80 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
  1. Featured Review
    COVID-19
    Helpful (2)

    "Good place to work"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investigator in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time

    Pros

    Very flexible, especially during the lockdown period. They’ve been very supportive and allowed you to work around childcare needs. Benefits are great, especially the pension.

    Cons

    As other reviews have said, workload can be high. If you’re organised it’s manageable, but if not you could be overwhelmed.

  2. "Good Communication"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Business Analyst in London, England
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time

    Pros

    Good communication from management. Management is also visible

    Cons

    no concictency between different departments

  3. "Good place"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mass Claims Consultant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time

    Pros

    Nice environment, clear guidelines for progression, etc

    Cons

    The standard has decreased since I started 3 years ago.

  4. Helpful (9)

    "Problems with culture, discrimination and inconsistent management"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    I think they are good at recruiting - because they have better staff than they deserve. Most people at the lower levels are nice, and work hard. I don't think the work is too stressful. The pay and benefits are OK. The work they do (when it is done competently) is a good thing to do. I felt good about the difference I could make for people. I could sometimes feel very proud of my work (but not consistently).

    Cons

    I think the biggest problem may be that they just don't value management skills. They recruited internally for ombudsman managers, and went almost entirely for ombudsman. They believed that making a decision was something that couldn't be taught, but that people who had never been a manager could immediately be given staff to manage with minimal support. It's wildly inconsistent. Rules vary from team to team. It's not bad if you have a good manager, but managers change. I had 3 in 6 months at one point. If you get a bad manager then it can be terrible . The organisation cannot admit it is wrong. Which means that when you get a bad manager they will back them up however obviously there is a problem. It's a wider problem, they don't just change rules they deny they have changed them (because that would mean admitting they needed to be improved). Things change constantly but they then act as if they have always been that way - that even applies to guidance they give to financial businesses. You would follow guidance and tell a complainant something, then someone would complain about you and they'd undermine you, say something different and deny you were ever given the original guidance. This is particularly bad as they changed so much. Instead of listening to staff (who provided honest and constructive feedback year after year when surveyed, only to see the same mistakes again) they paid huge amounts to consultants who got them to buy whiteboards so teams could "huddle" round them.. Which no one liked or found helpful. They got rid of them as soon as they could. I thought their customer service was good. I was genuinely impressed with the thought they would put into, for example, accessibility for disabled consumers. But they never showed any of that compassion to staff. They allowed consumers to be abusive, and did not back staff up. They treated anyone with a disability or health problem terribly. (They are obsessed with standing meetings - I was once at a training even where a heavily pregnant woman and someone with severe back problems nearly got into a fight as they each insisted the other one should take the only chair). They were racist. The number of people taking time of with stress or other induced illness was very high. (The work is not stressful, but feeling undervalued, unsupported and being given no control is). You can wait for months for guidance. Their IT systems were so terrible that they were due to bring the new system online for over 1000 staff on a Monday, and at 5pm on the Friday they changed that to less than 10 staff. They paid for outside trainers to train for the new IT system, but did not explain our jobs so they did not know what we would need to do, and could not understand any of our questions. And got them to do it while the software was still in development so by the time it was due to be rolled out it had changed beyond all recognition. And there was no budget or time left to train us in it. Instead of sitting down with expensive trainers for 2 half day sessions in computer rooms we got a 1 hour talk from one of the 10 people who had tried it, talking at double speed to try and give us as much information as possible. Instead of having an actual good culture that treats staff with respect they treat people like they are at school. Decorating competitions for Christmas, Easter egg hunts, activities like a school sports day. I was once trying to get my work done while someone was sending out quizzes and activities every hour throughout the day. They lost post/cases and I believe they lied to an independent enquiry about this. HR is terrible. The move to the new investigator system was a disaster. They badly trained people in complicated things while removing specialists to do simple work. Then strangely enough had to move away from this. Having wasted months with the training, misrepresented the jobs, and held complaints up for months while consumers waited. Most of the people who work there at the lower level are nice and hardworking (see pros) but when things do go wrong no one steps in. I've seen people in teams just stop speaking to each other while management did nothing. They talk in baffling management speak. They train people to use plain English and avoid "jargon" but do not understand that their odd touchy feeling management speak is also a type of jargon. (Their appraisals required showing that you "communicated as a person". )They paid money to get stickers for their doors (in their font, and colours) saying things like "lets PULL together". When staff survey results showed people were feeling unmotivated one of my managers made the team have a meeting so we could come up with 5 things that would motivate us. And we couldn't leave until we did. They have an exceptionally high staff turnover. Some of that is not their fault - they recruited many young people who could get better jobs with a couple of years experience. But some of it is. I knew one small training intake (8 to 12 people) where none of them lasted a year because they had been recruited on a probationary salary for 6 months, but after 6 months not a single one was taken off probation, or sacked, they were all just kept working at the lower pay being told to meet targets they could not meet (because they had not been trained or supported). The last staff survey I saw (via another expensive outside consultancy) asked how well people understood what senior management did. The findings gave a whole page to the results of this, because it was "unusual", as it showed that the higher up in the organisation someone was the less they understood what the top staff did. I think this probably sums the place up more than any single other thing - the higher up people were the less they knew until you got people who didn't know what they themselves did.

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  5. COVID-19
    Helpful (3)

    "A handful of ungrateful people"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Manager 
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 8 years

    Pros

    Our people are diverse from all walks of like - from ethnicity to different needs! Very well done to the service albeit at times I do feel we bend over backwards to meet the “demands” our people make even though someone without different needs would not get the same demands agreed. We make a difference to our people’s lives through the flexibility and adjustments we make for them which in turn helps us to serve our consumers and financial businesses. Generally, a friendly bunch of people at the service with most making a difference to help those who need us. We don’t always get it right but no one I know goes out of their way to intentionally do things wrong!

    Cons

    Tough times during lockdown and whilst most are working hard to make things work and continue with working on delivering what we’re here for - resolving financial complaints, there are more than a handful that just don’t want to play ball - it’s their way or let’s make hell for the service. They forget that they should be grateful each day that they still have a job as there are thousands of people out there that have lost jobs and are really struggling. So stop your unhelpful demands and get on with what you’re being paid for otherwise there is the option not to work at the service if you’re unhappy with the huge support and flexibility being provided and try and find a job during these really tough times. Draw a line and move on and step up!

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  6. Helpful (13)

    "Management make your life a nightmare"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Investigator in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Most colleagues are great. Gym, canteen is ok. Location is pretty good and it's a different day every day so never got boring.

    Cons

    Management all talk to each other and if they want to hinder your progress they will. Managers managers never think of asking their teams to do a review, else mine would have been sacked a long time ago. Management shout at staff and ignore them if they want to. I ended up leaving when there was no more progression to be made. Also managers have no trust nor do they agree with senior management but do nothing to voice their opinions.

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  7. "Generally a good place to work"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Investigator in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 5 years

    Pros

    The work is generally rewarding and it’s nice to go home knowing you’ve helped someone and done the right thing. The people are mostly great and there’s a lot of support from colleagues on a day to day basis. The benefits are good and it’s a nice office/working environment. There’s no expectation to work extra hours and there’s a good work/life balance.

    Cons

    There is limited scope for progression and it’s harder to get sponsored for qualifications than it was a few years ago.

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  8. Helpful (15)

    "False positive reviews"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Adjudicator in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    There is nothing positive about working here

    Cons

    People who have been posting false positive reviews (no doubt the management cronies or the management themselves) please kindly stop trying to mislead people. In any event people reading the reviews are not fools - you only have to look at the number of 'helpfuls' to understand this - the false positive reviews hardly receive any 'likes' whereas the 'negative' reviews receive many more 'likes' because they are a true reflection. The fact is, and I am talking from my own personal experience having worked there since the year 2001, that: -the targets are unrealistic/excessive workloads -bullying is rife -lack of support and training -discrimination -inflexible working hours I suffered years of bullyism and racial discrimination to the point that I lost my confidence and self-esteem; depression., headaches and was at a point that I was fearful of going to work. Luckily, last year the FOS offered redundancy and I grabbed the opportunity with both hands - I am still mentally scarred but at least I have escaped. If the false positive reviews are correct, perhaps those liars need to explain why over 200 people took the redundancy option and that too in today's climate. Please be honest - but then again when has the FOS management ever been honest?

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  9. Helpful (3)

    "Lots of room for improvement"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Adjudicator in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than 10 years

    Pros

    Great colleagues and nice offices

    Cons

    Management not in touch with the real world.

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  10. Helpful (1)

    "Meh"

    2.0
    Current Employee - Insurance Claims Handler in London, England

    I have been working at Financial Ombudsman Service full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Honestly speaking, the people I work with in the team are nice.

    Cons

    Management team need to improve on how they speak with their team. There needs to be a way for career progression

Found 549 reviews