FOS is an independent organisation set up by law to help resolve disputes between consumers and businesses. All businesses that hold a standard consumer credit licence must comply with these complaint handling requirements and must follow proper procedures when dealing with complaints about their consumer credit activities. Their customers have the right to refer unresolved disputes to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

The ombudsman service will not consider a complaint until the customer has first complained direct to the business concerned and given it  a chance to put matters right. If the complaint cannot be resolved using the in-house procedure which normally takes around 8 weeks, the complainant may be able to refer the matter to the FOS.