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The FOS Approach to assessing special circumstances


We publish the FOS Approach to help make it as easy as possible for everyone to understand how we consider disputes about particular issues. This includes the different elements we will consider and the relevant Codes, legal principles, obligations and industry best practice that we will apply. We want to share this knowledge so that everyone can learn from the thousands of disputes we see each year.

The latest document in this series talks about how we assess whether special circumstances apply to documents provided to us during the course of a dispute.

Before we make a formal written decision (called a Determination), we must make sure that the consumer and the financial services provider have had the chance to look at any documents the other party has provided to us, if we plan to rely on those documents in the Determination. We cannot reach a decision in a Determination if we need to rely on documents that the other party hasn’t had a chance to see. The only exception is if we decide that the document should not be exchanged with the other party because special circumstances apply.

You can read our whole Approach to assessing special circumstances here.

Visit to see all the available FOS Approach documents.