An ombud is a person who investigates complaints and negotiates fair settlements, especially between persons that have been wronged, victimised or injured such as consumers or students and an institution or organisation.
Since 1 April 2005, the FAIS Ombud was granted the authority to deal with complaints against financial institutions, which do not fall within the authority of any other ombud scheme or where there is uncertainty over authority.
The FAIS Ombud’s role is to resolve disputes between financial services providers and their clients in a procedurally fair, informal, economical and quick manner. The FAIS Ombud‘s jurisdiction is limited to violations which occurred on or after 30 September 2004 and to claims not exceeding R800 000.
The FAIS Ombud deals with complaints submitted by a specific client against a financial services provider.
The FAIS Ombud’s services are free and accessible to all consumers.
A “complaint” means a specific grievance relating to a financial service rendered by a financial services provider or a representative of such provider to the complainant.
The complaint will be considered if it is alleged that the provider or representative:
- has contravened or failed to comply with a provision of the FAIS Act and that as a result thereof the complainant has suffered or is likely to suffer financial prejudice or damage;
- has wilfully or negligently rendered a financial service to the complainant and has caused prejudice or damage to the complainant or which is likely to result in such prejudice or damage; or has treated the complainant unfairly.
“Client” means a specific person or group of persons, excluding the general public, who is or may become the subject to whom a financial service is rendered intentionally, or is the successor in title of such person or the beneficiary of such service.
Before submitting a complaint to the FAIS Ombud, you must try to resolve the complaint with the responding party. The responding party has six weeks in which to resolve the complaint. The complainant then has six months within which to submit a complaint to the FAIS Ombud.
The complaint must relate to a financial service rendered by a financial services provider or the representative of the provider.
“Financial services provider” means any person who as a regular feature of the business of such person or provides advice or provides a service as a go-between service.
The complaint must not relate to money which involves more than R800 000, unless the responding party has agreed in writing to this limitation being exceeded.
- Samona Murugan