Opinion  

How did Fos get it so wrong?

Philip Milton

Following the recent high court decision to overrule decisions by Fos to uphold fraudulent complaints against the Cirencester Friendly Society Limited, how on earth could our beyond-the-law ombudsman have ruled as it did anyway?

Not in terms of interpreting whether or not the claimant was lying for his claim – something which is almost incidental – but that he had clearly failed to divulge important things at the time of application, enough to void his insurance anyway?

How did the Cirencester take action? Technically the FCA could have slapped it down for failing to co-operate with Fos and accepting its ultimate sanction – a ruling which cannot be challenged. Had it lost then I can see the society being hauled over the coals for not respecting Fos and its ultimate judgement. There is a rule to that end, but not a single authority that has jurisdiction over Fos – that is how frightening it really is.

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Additionally, as fraud was involved, surely this should have been a criminal prosecution and thus brought by the crown prosecutor? Although I can just see them running a mile, claiming “insufficient evidence” or “it’s a civil matter”.

Philip J Milton

Principal,

Philip J MIlton & Co,

Barnstaple,

Devon