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Consumer Credit Act extended

As part of an extension to the Consumer Credit Act in the UK, the regulatory body, the Financial Ombudsman Service, will now be able to deal with a wider range of financial complaints from consumers.

Although the FOS was restricted in the past with regards to the type of financial issues it was able to address, the new extension to the Consumer Credit Act means that consumers will be able to contact the service with regards to a far wide range of financial complaints.

With the new amendments to the Act, the FOS can deal with complaints regarding hire purchase, payment plans, store cards, and a variety of other businesses that offer credit. Last month around eighty thousand companies that offer forms of credit to consumers came under the umbrella of the FOS, which means that consumers with complaints relating to financial matters for those firms can now seek assistance from the Financial Ombudsman Service.

There are certain restrictions still in place, such as loans or credit agreements cannot be for more than £25,000. Also, the complaint has to stem from an issue that occurred on or after 6 th April of this year. The FOS has advised that before it will be able to look into any complaints regarding financial issues the consumers must try and deal with the matter directly with the company. If this fails, then the FOS will be able to take the complaint to the next level.

All of the companies that have now come under the jurisdiction of the Financial Ombudsman Service are obliged to advise consumers of their right to complain to the FOS in the event that the financial issue is not resolved directly with the company.

Tom Smith
12th May 2007


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