Is the FOS Fit For Purpose?

Is the FOS Fit For Purpose?

14:07 PM, 9th June 2016, About 6 years ago 29

Text Size

Financial Ombudsman Service

It is now proven that the Financial Ombudsman Service monumentally screwed up when they found in favour of West Bromwich Mortgage Company being in the right to add a premium to their tracker mortgage margins and to issue veiled threats to call in mortgages with just 30 days notice.

Were they afraid of creating another banking crisis, like the one when Northern Rock collapsed, or were they just incompetent and/or biased?

I have no doubt that several borrowers who were affected by this will be calling for resignations but I’m not going to do that. Instead, I am going to give the FOS an opportunity to vindicate themselves.

I am calling upon the FOS to re-open the complaint files regarding complaints about the Bank of Ireland and their unilateral decision to apply premiums to tracker rates mortgages for both homeowners and buy-to-let landlords. Around 13,000 borrowers were affected.

I am also calling upon the FOS to re-open the complaint files regarding the Skiptin Building Society / Amber Homeloans complaints in respect of their unilateral decision to disregard contractual obligations in respect of rate cap of bank base rate plus 3% on their standard variable rate mortgages affecting over 100,000 borrowers. This case goes back to 2010 and was reported on but in National media.

Neither of these cases are far removed from the one we won at the Court of Appeal against West Bromwich Mortgage Company.

It is all very well for mortgage lenders to say they need to balance their books and cater for both borrowers and savers but that gives them no right just to change contracts in their favour. In a mortgage interest rate contract says it will track the Bank of England base then that is exactly what it should do, no if’s, but’s or maybe’s. I don’t think the FOS paid much attention at all to what the contracts said.

Can you imagine savers locking their money into a 5 year fixed interest rate bond, only to be told subsequently they are not going to get the agreed rate because the lender wants to reduce mortgage rates? It’s no different, a contract is a contract!

Let’s see what the FOS do next, what do you think it will be?

I suspect we will need to take this matter further and that’s why we have launched a new fund-raiser.

We have honoured those who helped us to fight the campaign against the West Brom by keeping the name given to them in Court, the Property118 Action Group….. details 

Benefits of Backing Property118 Action Group

Property118 Action Group FOUNDER MEMBERPrivate housing providers (buy-to-let landlords) often lack the experience and finances to defend their rights. Membership of Property118 Action Group offers them a unique and powerful umbrella at a very reasonable price.

Founder Member Benefits

  • If you pledge £600 you will automatically become a Founder Member.
  • Founder Members will never be required to pay any more money in terms of monthly subscriptions or to contribute to any action we undertake to for the benefit of members.
  • When we have raised enough money we plan to take further action against the Bank of Ireland, Skipton Building Society and Manchester Building Society in respect of changes they made to their mortgage terms which we beleive are unlawful.
  • You will be able to use the Property118 Action Group “Founder Member” badge on stationety, websites etc.
  • There will never be more than 5,000 Founder Members so you will be part of an exclusive club.

Business Sponsorship £1,000

All the benefits of Founder Member status plus:-

  • PR benefits,  please see this link
  • Sponsors logo

Business Advertising £5,000 

All the benefits of Business Membership plus:-

  • An opportunity to post one News article on every month, to include a contact form for the purpose of attracting members to enquire about products and services offered by your business.
  • Lifetime upgrade to a Business Member profile in to include a business bio, the contact form mentioned above and the ability to add further images to your profile page.

Investment Opportunities

We are hoping to be able to offer shares in Property118 Action Group in due course.


Needless to say, we are VERY happy about this!


Denise G

14:18 PM, 9th June 2016, About 6 years ago

You go gettem Mark!!

Ian Ringrose

15:15 PM, 9th June 2016, About 6 years ago

I assume the court awarded you full costs, if so, can’t they be used to fund the next round…..

Also is a judicial review of the FOS worth considering….

(But in the long term, no bank will offer tracker or fixed rate mortgages over more than a few years.)

Andy Bell

16:18 PM, 9th June 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "09/06/2016 - 15:15":

Hi Ian,
The costs are being refunded to those individuals such as myself who funded the action. A few hundred of us risked thousands of pounds each to pay our costs and to cover WB's cost if we lost. As it happens all the WB borrowers will benefit from the risk we took and all tracker mortgages look a bit safer now.

It is now time for everyone else to start funding the new action group along with those from WB group that have already pledged. The initial lifetime membership offer is a good one, I will never again have to consider backing down in the face of bullying banks with unlimited legal budgets.

And If the FOS is going to man up it will take concerted campaigning that will need funding. It needs enough people to stop talking about all the problems and put up some time, effort and cash to make a difference. We have proved together we can make a big difference, alone we are easy prey.

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

16:51 PM, 9th June 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Andy Bell" at "09/06/2016 - 16:18":

Well said 😀


16:54 PM, 9th June 2016, About 6 years ago

FOS - Full Of Sh*t?

Mandy Thomson

9:06 AM, 10th June 2016, About 6 years ago

Reading Mark's account of the FOS above, I believe the answer (as to their motivations) lies within that account itself. It's my understanding that so called independent complaints organisations employ staff who are from that background, so naturally they're not often going to see what others in their industry have done wrong, as they're thinking like them. There may even be a kind of nepotism going on, as even if the employees don't have a stake in a particular company or corporation, they may well know people who do.

Under let Landlord

9:43 AM, 10th June 2016, About 6 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Ian Ringrose" at "09/06/2016 - 15:15":

HSBC are a pretty sharp out fit you may know them as the one the media doesn't mention much or your friendly broker. They offer lifetime trackers for most products

Ian Burton

10:28 AM, 10th June 2016, About 6 years ago


What a good result. I endorse all the comments and only wish I'd have had the support of a group like ours in my last dealings with the FOS If I had, the result may have been different. So onwards and upwards lets take the fight to the unjust bullies.

It was thousands well spent!! (especially as we get it back well less 600 to the cause)

Lets have more pledges to help those of us who have been unfairly treated

Mark Alexander - Founder of Property118 View Profile

16:00 PM, 10th June 2016, About 6 years ago

Somebody just sent me a link to this very interesting video ...

Denise G

18:53 PM, 10th June 2016, About 6 years ago

Oh ffs it's a sick old world innit!!! I truly believed they were an independent service (who had screwed us over but were at least no one's servants). I despair I really do!

1 2 3

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now