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The FOS Approach to financial difficulty disputes


We want to 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.

In the past, documents that outlined our approach to certain dispute types were published through quarterly newsletters, Now, rather than having to search through previous editions of the Circular (or the old Bulletin) for what you’re after, you’ll be able to find all our approach documents housed in one spot on our website at

Our new FOS Approach documents have a refreshed, easy to read, user-friendly format that our members, consumer representatives and consumers can understand. The first of our new documents focuses on our approach to financial difficulty disputes.

Our financial difficulty series covers:

  1. legal principles, industry codes and good industry practice
  2. power to vary a credit contract
  3. issues when loans are held in joint names, when there are guarantors, caveators or second mortgagees
  4. common issues
  5. small business (to be released shortly)