ACSO comments on the Legal Ombudsman’s 2019-20 business plan

Matthew Maxwell Scott, executive director of ACSO (Association of Consumer Support Organisations), said:

“The Legal Ombudsman (LeO) has recently undergone a modernisation programme; to sit alongside its work on claims management companies being transferred to the Financial Ombudsman Service. ACSO welcomes LeO’s commitment to improving the overall framework for managing complaints so that it can deliver a high standard of resolution while keeping up with changing consumer needs. Innovation is necessary to keep pace with the rapidly changing operating environment and ACSO wants to see improvements in outcomes for those who submit a case.

“LeO reports that improvements and innovation will take time to show in its performance. It takes on around 7,500 cases annually out of 100,000 enquiries, and tries to resolve many informally. LeO accepts that many people approach it for help at particularly challenging times in their lives, and that many consumers do not always understand whether the service they wish to complain about is what they should have expected or not.

“ACSO wants consumers to understand their right to redress and how they can get the necessary support. Increasing LeO’s transparency will help this and also alleviate the additional stress that delays in response can cause.

“We also welcome LeO’s support for access to justice for minority groups who would otherwise experience alienation or exclusion from the civil justice system, and we look forward to further developments.

“It is vital that the ombudsman moves forward in a positive direction for the benefit of consumers. We looking forward to seeing it achieve further improvements in this complex area.”