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Unit Standard No.12164Page 138

THE ROLE, POWERS AND DUTIES OF THE OMBUD

The Office of the Ombud for Financial Services will serve as an expeditious, cost effective dispute resolution system through which customer complaints against FSP’s or representatives will be processed.  The office has been set up in such a way that the constitutional requirements of independence and objectivity are achieved.

In terms of the Act:

"Ombud" means-

(a) the Ombud for Financial Services Providers appointed in terms of section 21(1); and 20

(b) for the purposes of sections 27, 28, 31 and 39, includes a deputy Ombud;

The Ombud will consider and dispose of complaints in a procedurally fair, informal, economical and expeditious manner, with due regard to:

The contractual and legal relationship between the complainant and the other party

The provisions of FAIS

The Ombud is empowered to:

Award fair compensation for any financial prejudice or damage suffered by the complainant.

Issue a direction to an FSP to take appropriate steps in relation to the complaint.

It is important to remember that a determination by the Ombud has the effect of a civil judgment and is executable through the ordinary judicial process. In addition to this, civil remedies are available in the form of class actions, as outlined above, and finally, criminal sanctioning is provided for through heavy fines and terms of imprisonment.

The following excerpts contain the rules concerning what the Ombud must do on receipt of the complaint, as well as Determinations by the Ombud:

(1) On submission of a complaint to the Office, the Ombud must

INSMAT final materials31/10/03

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