The ‘broken’ ombudsman system should be referred to the Law Commission, according to MoneySavingExpert.com.
The recommendation comes from the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Consumer Protection’s Inquiry into ombudsmen in the UK.
MoneySavingExpert published a report on the need for ombudsman reform in November 2017.
Martin Lewis, founder and chair of MoneySavingExpert.com, said: “Ombudsmen should be the gold standard in independent dispute resolution, with the ability to force all players in their sector to comply with rulings.
“Yet not all ombudsmen are equal. Some are little more than opt-in trade bodies that firms can ignore with impunity, and are about as useful to consumers as a chocolate teapot.
“We exposed these problems in our Sharper Teeth report in 2017, and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Consumer Protection has agreed with many of the recommendations we made and asked the Government to refer the whole mess to the Law Commission.
“To be called an ombudsman, you should have the statutory powers needed to enforce decisions and be under proper scrutiny, so consumers have confidence they’ll get a fair hearing.
“Plus we need to change the antiquated pre-digital rule that means consumers have to wait a ridiculous eight weeks to escalate a problem to an ombudsman after complaining.”