Financial Institutions

  1. If you have a complaint against any of the participating banks or insurance companies, take it first to the branch or agency at which the transaction or incident occurred.
  2. If you do not get satisfaction at the branch or agency then take the matter to the dispute resolution centre of your financial institution, usually located at the head office of your institution.
  3. It is usually best to complain to your financial institution in writing. But if you phone, ask for the name of the person to whom you are speaking. Keep a note of this information, with the date and time of your call – and what was said. You may need to refer to this later.
  4. Try to stay calm and polite, however angry or upset you may be. You are more likely to explain your complaint clearly and effectively if you can stay calm. You will also be more likely to be given a sympathetic ear.
  5. If possible, start by contacting the person with whom you originally did the transaction. If he cannot help, tell him that you want to take the matter further. Ask for details of the name or job title of the person who will be handling your complaint and ask for details of the complaints procedure of the institution.
  6. When you write a letter of complaint, include the word ‘complaint’ as part of the caption. Set out the facts as clearly as possible and keep your letter short and to the point. Say why you are not happy and what you want the institution to do about it. This will make it easier for the institution to satisfy your complaint.
  7. Write down the facts in a logical order and stick to what is relevant. Remember to include important details like the name on the account and the account number, or the policy number and vehicle number (if applicable) in the case of an insurance complaint. Put these details as the caption on your letter.
  8. Remember to enclose copies of any relevant documents that you believe would help to support your case.
  9. Keep a copy of all letters and the enclosures between you and the financial institution. You may need to refer to them later.

What to do next

If you are not happy with the institution’s decision on your complaint, then you may bring your complaint to the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman. However, you must do so within 180 days of receiving the institution’s decision.

For further details, take a look at our brochure entitled “OFSO Procedure on Banking Services” for banking services and “OFSO Procedure on Insurance Services” for insurance services.

If you would like us to look into your complaint, you will need to complete our complaint form. This may be accessed by going to complaint form .You may download the complaint form, complete it yourself and send it to us by post or deliver it yourself to our Office. For security reasons we cannot accept the complaint form by email – and we must have your handwritten signature.

For details of the procedures at the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman, go to Complaint Process at the OFSO.