The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) has appointed Nausicaa Delfas as its interim chief executive and chief ombudsman while it seeks a permanent successor to Caroline Wayman.
Delfas (pictured) is currently executive director of international and interim chief operating officer at the Financial Conduct Authority but will step into the FOS role that was vacated last week.
Wayman announced in March that she was leaving the complaints body after seven years in the role and officially stepped down on 16 April.
Delfas will become interim chief executive on 17 May and will be in post while the FOS board continues its recruitment process for a permanent chief executive and chief ombudsman.
FOS chair Baroness Zahida Manzoor said Delfas brings a “wealth of experience and a firm understanding of the environment within which we are operating and the challenges that lie ahead.”
It comes as the FOS has been hit with a backlog of complaints and claims that its staff were undertrained.
The pandemic has contributed to a substantial increase in the number of new complaints it received in 2020/21, forecast to be at least 45 per cent higher than expected at the beginning of the financial year.
From October to December 2020, there were fewer than 10 new cases, enquiries or complaints relating to the innovative finance ISA tax wrapper for debt-based securities.
Over the same period, the FOS received 50 enquiries and saw 46 new cases for loan-based crowdfunding – also known as P2P lending – and 33 enquiries and 49 new cases for investment-based crowdfunding, or equity crowdfunding.
Overall, the FOS received 72,498 new complaints in the second quarter, up five per cent with consumers and businesses getting in touch about Covid-19 related problems.