On 16 October 2018, the Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) confirmed that, from 1 April 2019, the Financial Ombudsman Service’s (“FOS”) jurisdiction will expand to cover approximately 210,000 additional small and medium enterprises (“SMEs”).

Following a consultation launched in January this year, the FCA determined that the FOS’ jurisdiction should expand to cover SMEs with an annual turnover below £6.5m and either fewer than 50 employees or an annual balance sheet of below £5m. The intention is to provide many smaller businesses with a convenient and effective means of resolving disputes with financial service providers without having to go to court.

The FCA has published near final rules, available here: PS18/21

The FCA has also launched a consultation into increasing the award limit for the FOS from £150,000 to £350,000: CP18/31