If you have a complaint against a financial services provider, such as a bank or an insurance company, and are battling to get it resolved, you can get free help from the Office of the Ombud for Financial Services Providers (FAIS Ombud).
The FAIS Ombud helps to resolve complaints between financial services providers and their customers.
The complaint must relate to a financial service. It will be considered if the financial services provider or someone who represents the company:
- Did not comply with a provision of the FAIS Act and you have or will suffer financially as a result.
- Wilfully or negligently rendered a service to you that has or will cause prejudice or damage.
- Treated you unfairly.
- Is not an authorised financial services provider such as a loan shark (mashonisa).
Types of complaints
The FAIS Ombud investigates various financial services complaints, including:
- Those relating to investments that are sold to people who cannot afford them.
- Providers recommending retrenchment cover to a person who is self-employed and does not qualify for the protection offered by the product.
- Replacing policies with others, saying they offer a better product when they don’t.
- Insurance policies that are sold as investments.
- Non-disclosure of important terms and conditions in policies, such as fees and commission payable, the maximum amount payable for a claim and waiting periods for cover.
An example of non-disclosure is when an insurance company does not inform you that you need to install a tracking device in your vehicle. If you don’t install the device, you will only be covered for fire and third party insurance, even though you are paying a premium for comprehensive vehicle insurance.
Submitting a complaint
Before submitting a complaint to the FAIS Ombud, you must try to resolve the issue with the provider. If you are not happy with the provider’s response, you have six months to submit the complaint to the FAIS Ombud.
When submitting a complaint to the FAIS Ombud, you must:
- Complete a complaints registration form. Download it from www.faisombud.co.za/how-to-complain or call 086 066 3274 to have it emailed or faxed to you.
- Complete, sign and submit the form by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org or faxing it to 012 348 3447.