The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman is able to adjudicate in disputes between customers and the providers of several significant types of financial services products and services. Its office opened on 16 November 2015.
The following summarises the key facts in relation to the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman scheme.
- It offers a complainant access to an independent complaint handling mechanism in relation to financial services, covered by the scheme, that are provided by businesses carrying on that business in or from within Jersey or the Bailiwick of Guernsey. The person who oversees and considers complaints against financial services firms is known as the Ombudsman.
- Anyone making a complaint should first give the firm that the complaint is about a reasonable opportunity to deal with the complaint. If the firm’s response is unsatisfactory, the complainant is able to complain to the Ombudsman who will then investigate the matter.
- The Ombudsman will look into complaints from consumers and private individuals, small businesses and certain charities and other individuals, regardless of where they live or are based. These persons will be termed as being “eligible complainants”.
- The Ombudsman will consider complaints made by eligible complainants for services provided by banks, insurance companies, insurance managers, insurance intermediaries, financial advisers, stockbrokers, money lenders, consumer credit and money service businesses. In addition certain investment funds and the businesses that provide services to those funds will be covered by the scheme as well as certain pension products such as Retirement Annuity Trusts (RATS).
- If the Ombudsman agrees with the claim made in a complaint, it will have the power to order the financial services business to compensate the complainant. This compensation could be for the loss that the complainant has suffered and any material distress or inconvenience suffered by the complainant.
- Complaints will only be considered for acts or omissions which occurred on or after 2 July 2013 if the financial services provider was in the Bailiwick of Guernsey. If the act giving rise to your complaint occurred before this date, the Ombudsman will be unable to help you.
- Complaints can be made to the Ombudsman by post or by email (see below for contact details).
If you have a complaint that you believe meets the criteria for the Ombudsman:
- Give the business that you are complaining about a reasonable opportunity to deal with your complaint.
- Keep all correspondence and notes of any telephone calls (including name of person spoken to, date and time).
- After having made your complaint to the financial services business, if it has not been resolved, you can complain to the Ombudsman, using the contact details above.
A link to the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman’s website can be found here.