“No qualifications necessary, legal experience is preferable and some knowledge in financial services is an advantage”: these are the requirements to be an Ombudsman.
According to job descriptions on the Financial Ombudsman Service website, the Ombudsman is still recruiting people to cater with the ongoing rise in complaints levels.
Earlier this year, the outreach manager at Fos said that even though the service had taken on 1,000 new staff last year, it needed a further 1,000 to deal with the rising number of PPI complaints. He said the ombudsman was receiving more than 2,000 complaints a day.
Fos’s pitch should certainly catch the eye: even for a junior ombudsman with no qualifications in financial services, the starting salary is “£59,373 plus excellent benefits”
The job description states: “We have legally binding powers so you’ll need to have - or develop - expertise in the relevant areas of law. We welcome experience in law, quasi-judicial environments or dispute resolution.
“Knowledge and expertise in relevant financial services products may be an advantage. In addition, as you progress in your role you may also work on projects or develop policy - so previous project or policy experience can be useful.”
The role does require someone who is “sensitive to the customers’ needs” and one can, the description states, “potentially earn up to £85,537” as an ombudsman.