Jersey: Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman Announces Planned Opening Date
Last Updated: 20 August 2015

 Jersey's States Assembly and Guernsey's States of Deliberation are to consider legislation that sets the 16th of November 2015 as the date that the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) will 'open for business' and start resolving complaints about financial services.

CIFO is a pan-Channel Islands organisation set up by law in the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey to resolve complaints about financial services provided in or from Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark. The office is independent and will provide an informal, speedy, effective and free alternative to going to court for complainants.

CIFO will cover events from 1 January 2010 (if the financial services provider was in Jersey) or 2 July 2013 (if the financial services provider was in Guernsey/Alderney/Sark). Time limits for referring complaints may apply. This is particularly important for Jersey complaints relating to events in 2010 that have not already been considered by the financial services provider. Such complaints should be promptly referred to the financial services provider. If the complaint remains unresolved, then it should be referred promptly to CIFO once the office opens.

CIFO will not have powers to investigate complaints until the 16th of November, subject to approval by the Jersey States Assembly and Guernsey States of Deliberation. Those with unresolved complaints that have already been raised with their financial services provider may notify CIFO of their complaint in advance of the office opening by post or by email. A confirmation of receipt by CIFO will be issued and our staff will follow-up once the office is open.

Advance notice of complaints may be sent by post to:

CHANNEL ISLANDS FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN
P O Box 114
Jersey, JE4 9QG
Channel Islands

Or by email to:

Complaints@ci-fo.org

Further information is available at: www.ci-fo.org

Douglas Melville, Principal Ombudsman and Chief Executive, said –

"The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman will soon be in operation. We are finalising our preparations to be able to start resolving complaints on the 16th of November 2015. In the meantime, it is very important that anyone who would like to refer a complaint has already raised the issue directly to their financial services provider and given the provider an opportunity to resolve the matter. Although we will not have the powers to start work on complaints, people may send us the details of their complaints in advance of the opening date for action once the full powers are in force.

We are putting the practical arrangements for the new complaint handling service in place and we are working with the Jersey Department of Economic Development and Guernsey Commerce and Employment Board to ensure the necessary legal framework is in place."

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