You must lodge your complaint within 180 days of receiving notification of the institution’s determination of the matter and you still remain dis-satisfied.
Once we are sure that the complaint was already referred to your institution and it falls within our jurisdiction, you will be asked to complete our complaint form. This may be obtained by clicking complaint form , printing it and filling it out.
The form must be signed manually and either mailed or delivered to our Office. If you have a representative acting on your behalf, both you and your representative must sign the form as an indication that you have agreed to allow the representative to act on your behalf and you have given us the authority to exchange confidential information between the institution and our Office.
After the form is properly completed, the complaint may go through three stages, as follows:
Stage I – Settlement by Agreement
- OFSO contacts the financial institution and asks for copy of their files and seeks their views.
- OFSO assesses matter and holds discussions with parties to try and reach an agreement.
- If agreement is reached, customer signs in full and final settlement, the institution pays the amount agreed upon, if any, advises OFSO that matter is settled and we close our files on the matter.
Stage II – Recommendation by Ombudsman
- If no agreement is reached, either party may request the Ombudsman to make a recommendation for settlement or withdrawal of the complaint.
- Ombudsman gives one month’s notice of intention to make a recommendation during which time further representation and fresh evidence may be provided by either party.
- If the Financial Services Ombudsman makes a recommendation, it may be accepted by the customer in full and final settlement of matter within one month of receipt.
- Ombudsman sends acceptance received from customer to financial institution.
- If accepted by financial institution, it complies with the terms of the recommendation and informs the Ombudsman of the settlement.
- If not accepted by financial institution, it shall inform the Ombudsman within four (4) weeks of receipt of letter of acceptance.
Stage III – Award by Ombudsman
- If complaint is not settled by agreement or recommendation as above, the Ombudsman shall inform the parties of intention to make an award.
- Award shall not be for an amount greater than $500,000.00.
- Award shall not be greater than the amount to compensate for direct loss or damage suffered by customer by reason of acts or omissions of the financial institution.
- Further representations may be made by either party within a period of 15 days of notice of making an award.
- If the customer accepts the award in full and final settlement and sends his or her acceptance to OFSO within one month of the issue of the award, it is binding on the financial institution.
- The financial institution shall comply within 15 days of the receipt of letter of acceptance from OFSO and advise the Ombudsman accordingly.
- The Ombudsman shall report non-compliance of award by financial institution to the Central Bank.