Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) - 2017 in Review

Wednesday 27 June 09:45

Annual Report and Accounts for 2017

The independent Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) today released its annual report and accounts for 2017 – following their presentation to the Jersey States Assembly and their publication by the Greffier in Guernsey for consideration at a future meeting of the States of Deliberation.

David Thomas, Chair of the Board of Directors, said:

“This annual report and accounts of CIFO cover the second full calendar year of operation since we opened for business on 16 November 2015. CIFO was established by law to resolve, fairly and reasonably, complaints about financial services provided in or from the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark. We continue to be pleased with the response to this new service and remain appreciative of the cooperation we have received from all stakeholders.”

“CIFO continues to experience a significant volume of complaints, many coming in the form of multiple complaints about a single issue and financial services provider. We also experienced, again this year, a high proportion of complaints that fell outside of CIFO’s statutory remit, although the proportion of in-mandate complaints was notably higher than in 2016.”

 “The complaint statistics published with this annual report provide detailed information about the complaints received and how they were resolved. These complaint statistics, combined with our quarterly published complaint statistics, provide transparency for this important public interest mandate. For the first time, the annual complaint statistics provided in the annual report break out the information between Jersey and the Bailiwick of Guernsey (which includes the islands of Alderney and Sark).”

“One of the important functions of an Ombudsman service is to identify issues arising from financial consumer complaints which may warrant the attention of regulators and governments. As in 2017, a significant number of the complaints referred to us related to types of financial services that the States of Guernsey and the States of Jersey excluded from our scope. It is for the States to consider whether or not the boundaries of our remit should be reviewed in the light of the complaint data from our first two complete calendar years of operation. In addition, a number of complaints upheld during the year related to a single investment firm which failed to pay compensation because of insolvency.  In the absence of coverage by professional indemnity insurance, insolvency may leave consumers without the redress to which they are entitled under a CIFO decision or a court judgment.”

 

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