Surprise as court allows claim to recover losses above FOS ruling

The High Court has held that individuals who have had a complaint determined by the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS), and who have accepted the determination of the FOS in their favour, are not prevented from bringing a subsequent court claim to recover damages in excess of the FOS’s ruling.

This surprising decision in Clark v In Focus Asset Management & Tax Solutions Ltd may well be appealed, and certainly Court of Appeal guidance on this question is now required. It had been thought, following Andrews v SBJ Benefit Consultants, that where a claimant accepts a final determination from the FOS this would preclude a court claim in relation to the same matter. The point is relevant to high value claims because the FOS can award a maximum of £150,000 and merely recommend the respondent firm pay the balance.

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