To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether the Retail Ombudsman was given Cabinet Office approval to use the word "ombudsman" in their title; on what date any such approval was given; and whether the Cabinet Office guidance on ombudsman schemes was followed.
3 March 2015
The Retail Ombudsman has been set up independently of Government and is a non-statutory organisation aiming to provide alternative dispute resolution (ADR) in the retail sector. While anyone is free to set up a business providing ADR, ‘ombudsman’ is a sensitive word whose use in a company or business name requires prior approval by the Secretary of State. No approval has yet been given to the Retail Ombudsman to use this word.
Companies House and BIS are updating their procedures to ensure that the approval process deals with private sector applications to use this word.