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© The Campaign for Regulation of Asset Based Finance. All views expressed are the opinion of the campaign except where specifically stated.

This campaign is not supported by or linked in any way to the asset based finance industry.

The Campaign for Regulation of Asset Based Finance

Ombudsman

Companies affected by the actions of Asset Based Finance Companies would expect to be able to complain to the Financial Services Ombudsman, which polices banks and financial services firms that are regulated by the Financial Services Authority, but asset based finance firms are not regulated by the FSA unless they sign up voluntarily. The ombudsman, the FSA and the Office of Fair Trading, have no power to intervene in disputes.


The Financial Service Ombudsman cannot look at complaints about Asset Based Finance providers.  Clients former and existing are left with no means of addressing what can be very serious matters.


The Asset Based Finance Industry needs an ombudsman to be set up by parliament to sort out individual complaints that businesses and financial providers haven't been able to resolve themselves, whose services are free to end users.  The ombudsman would be funded by the industry.


The ombudsman will need to look at complaints about a wide range of asset based finance matters – both large and small.


The ombudsman will need to be completely independent and impartial. This means that when they make a judgement, they look carefully at both sides of the issue and weighed up all the facts.


If the ombudsman decides the asset based provider has treated the business unfairly, they will need to explain why. But if they decide the provider has acted wrongly – the business or others have lost out as a result – they must be able to order it to be put right, regardless of the cost to the asset based finance company.


This can be a time critical area of work and the ombudsman must be able to act quickly to protect viable businesses from the actions of some asset based finance companies.


Businesses will not need to accept any decision the ombudsman makes. If the business disagrees with the judgement then with the reforms to the industry it will be free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an ombudsman's decision, it is binding both on business and on the asset based provider.


When the rules are broken, the Ombudsman must have the power to enforce their decisions including substantive fines.


If you have suggestions or ideas on how a ombudsman would operate within the Financial Asset Based Industry, what powers it would require and the cost to the industry please contact ourselves at the address below.  The working group looking at this critical subject will be presenting their recommendations to the Minister and Parliament.


Correspondence:

Campaign for Regulation of Asset Based Finance

63, Rothwell Road

Newcastle upon Tyne

NE3 1UA

Or email mail@rabf.org.uk