FOS and Case Fees

With all the ambulance chasing firms and PPI as well a complaints related to Arch Cru & EEA Life Traded Endowments firms have been getting concerned about when they will be required to pay case fees for complaints that go to FOS. To shed some light on this we did some digging around on the FOS website to update and clarify the position

Less than one in six of the initial complaints and enquiries FOS receive at their front-line customer contact division become chargeable cases. The other complaints and enquiries usually involve matters we do not deal with – or matters that that can be resolved very early on, just by clarifying misunderstandings and sorting things out informally.


All businesses are entitled to a number of “free” cases. FOS do not charge businesses for the first 25 chargeable cases closed during the (financial) year. FOS charge only for the 26th (and any subsequent) case.

Since April 2012 FOS also charged a supplementary case fee for each payment protection insurance (PPI) mis-selling case but again chargeable only on the 26th (and subsequent) case during the year.

How much is the case fee?

The standard case fee (which FOS charge for the 26th and any subsequent “chargeable” case during the year) is £550.


The supplementary case fee for PPI mis-selling cases (chargeable only on the 26th – and any subsequent – case during the year) is £350.

The £550 standard case fee becomes “chargeable” when our customer contact division passes a complaint on for further work to one of our casework teams. But the fee does not actually become payable until the case is settled and closed. FOS finance team sends out an invoice for the case fee to the business concerned at the end of the month in which the case is closed.

Can a business recover its costs from a complainant?

No. A business cannot claim back costs from a consumer who has complained to the ombudsman service – or suggest that it might do so. Consumers have a statutory right to refer disputes to us, free of charge, if they are unhappy with the way a business has dealt with a complaint.

If a business threatens to penalise a consumer for exercising their statutory right to refer a complaint to FOS, this may have regulatory consequences for the business.

For more information please use the following link:


(Source: FOS)

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