The High Court has struck out legal proceedings by insurance firm FBD which had been aimed at stopping the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman from investigating a complaint over a refusal to pay out on  a business interruption claim. 

The case was struck out on consent of both sides.  

This morning the FSPO issued a statement welcoming the move. The Ombudsman said he would "vigorously oppose any attempt by a financial service provider or pension provider to restrain him in the exercise of his statutory powers" to investigate complaints. 

The statement also said FBD had "agreed to discharge certain legal costs to the FSPO".  

The case was brought by FBD last August when it took judicial review proceedings againt the Ombudsman's investigation into a complaint made by a publican over the insurer's refusal to pay a business interruption claim due to Covid 19 restrictions.

FBD had claimed the investigation by the Ombudsman should not proceed because the same issue was the subject of separate High Court proceedings. 

Those proceedings ended earlier this month when the High Court found a policy sold by FBD covered losses the pubs sustained by having to close due to the pandemic. 

The four test cases will not be appealed by FBD and are likely to affect claims made by around 1,000 pubs and restaurants. 

At a hearing in August, lawyers for the Ombudsman described the action to halt the investigation as an "entirely unprecedented challenge" to his jurisdiction to investigate such complaints.