Financial Ombudsman Service  

Ombudsman staff slate top bosses

Ombudsman staff slate top bosses

A Financial Ombudsman Service staff survey has revealed many feel let down by senior bosses, who they claim fail to give a sense of direction or listen to feedback.

Just 19 per cent of staff polled believe senior management at the Financial Ombudsman Service provide a clear sense of direction and only 21 per cent think their top bosses are open to feedback, a staff survey seen by FTAdviser revealed.

When asked to comment on the findings of the survey, a spokesman for the ombudsman said the organisation had been through a lot of change over the last few years and “clearly there are areas where we can improve and we’ll be working on this.”

The poll of 2,259 members of ombudsman staff, conducted between 23 May and 16 June, also showed less than one in five (18 per cent) are confident senior management are making decisions which will benefit the service in the long run.

Just a quarter (24 per cent) strongly agree or agree that top bosses have taken tough but necessary decisions.

The survey, which was completed by 78 per cent of the ombudsman’s staff, also showed workloads vary considerably across the service.

Almost half (49 per cent) of ombudsman service staff feel they have too much work to do, while 36 per cent feel they have about the right amount to tackle during their working day.

A total of 14 per cent of those polled feel they have too little work to do.

Two out of five ombudsman employees feel stressed or worried about work often or all of the time.

Nearly two thirds of Fos staff who said they felt stressed or worried about work cited future changes as the cause of their concern while just over half cited their objectives, targets and workload as causing upset.

Almost one in 10 (9 per cent) of employees felt they had been bullied or harassed at work in the past six months, which Facta Consult – the company that ran the survey for the Financial Ombudsman Service – warned may indicate a “possible cultural issue” at the organisation.

Of those who had been harassed, four out of 10 said it was a manager while 37 per cent said it was their line manager who bullied them.

Three out of 10 said a colleague had bullied them while 11 per cent felt harassed by a consumer and just 3 per cent by a business.

Just 14 per cent of employees who completed the Fos survey said they felt confident action would be taken as a result of the poll.

However it wasn’t all bad news for the ombudsman.

There were generally positive responses on collaboration, both within and across teams, and employees said they were committed to playing their part in the service’s success.

Most staff valued benefits, work-life balance and the ability to work flexibly that employment at the Financial Ombudsman Service offered.

Immediate management were also generally appreciated by staff. Employees felt managers cared about wellbeing, trusted them to get on with their jobs and treated them fairly.