Terms of Reference

Do you understand the terms and conditions under which the Office of the Financial Ombudsman operates?The Agency receives many complaints which fall outside the Terms and Reference of our mandate. It is important that citizens understand in what circumstances the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman can help.

The Terms of Reference set out the jurisdiction, powers and duties of the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman, and provide a general statement of the procedures to be followed in filing a complaint against a Financial Institution.

The Ombudsman will handle matters of transparency where terms of contract have not been met.

In the case of banking complaints, the Agency will not treat with matters relating to:

  • the general interest rate and risk policies concerning the granting of loans;
  • the pricing of products and services in the case of banking complaints;
  • credit decisions and
  • any transactions that occurred prior to January 1, 2003.

In the case of insurance complaints, the Agency will not treat with matters relating to:

  • insurance premium rates and underwriting decisions;
  • group pension plans and deposit administration schemes;
  • actuarial calculations;
  • surrender values and investment rates for life policies;
  • alleged false or misleading marketing practices;
  • third party personal injury claims arising out of motor accident and
  • any act or omission that took place prior to January 1, 2004.

Notwithstanding the scope of the Terms of Reference, the OFSO still attempts to assist. If an individual/consumer contacts the Agency with an issue which lies outside our scope, this complaint is forwarded to the financial institution’s internal dispute resolution centre for its attention and action. The OFSO seeks to ensure that the customer and the financial service provider develop a relationship to attempt to bring the parties together to resolve the matter.

For more information about issues which the OFSO can treat with, following this link Terms of Reference