How many PPI complaints is too many? How many mass-produced cash-splash requests could you handle before a near-terminal weariness set in? A hundred? A thousand? A hundred thousand? How about one million? Would a million be enough for you? Well, a million was enough, we learned this week, for Financial Ombudsman Service Chief Natalie Scenery, who this week decided to sling her hook.

An academic high flyer who took her A levels at 16, became president of the student’s union at Cambridge, and then went on to top roles within NHS management, the British Library and the National Archive, Natalie may have been looking forward (who wouldn’t) to some some major-league bank-bashing when she took up the role of Chief Ombuds(wo)man in January 2011. But she soon found herself buried right up to her designer-librarian specs in industrially farmed PPI claims. Not altogether unsurprisingly, she has finally had enough and announced that she’s stepping down.

Or rather, she’s had some other ombudspersons announce it for her. “In the close to four years since joining,” said FOS chairman Sir Nicholas Capulet earlier this week, “Natalie has taken the service from dealing with an annual workload of 150,000 cases to over 500,000 cases – with the organisation trebling in size under her leadership in response to the challenges of PPI.” That’s certainly a record of which any private sector organisation could be justly proud. But “having just received our millionth new PPI complaint, Natalie feels that now is the time for her to move on.” And, quite frankly, who wouldn’t!

In the meantime, her deputy Tony “Martin” Boorman will be attempting to squeeze his sweaty old feet into the departing Natalie’s distinctly elegant “don’t fuss with me” shoes. See how long he lasts!

Oh, hang on, Bankstone News has a call coming in:

“Hello! This is an urgent message for customers of Barclays, Lloyds TSB, Nat West and any other bank we can think of…”

Office Worker with Mountain of Paperwork



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