Fast forward 15 years to 25 July 2014, the Financial Services Ombudsman (Jersey) Law 2014 (the Law) comes into force. The raison d’être of the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman is to provide an independent dispute resolution service to settle complaints between clients and businesses providing financial services in Jersey. The introduction of the Ombudsman will bring Jersey into line with the Isle of Man where there has been a financial Ombudsman since 2002. A parallel scheme will be rolled out in Guernsey later this year.
WHO CAN THE OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATE?
The Ombudsman will have jurisdiction to investigate complaints about financial services businesses providing services from within Jersey as defined under Article 9 of the Law. Such a mandate may appear very wide reaching such is the omnipresence of the financial services industry in Jersey. The actions of banks, credit businesses, insurance services, investment businesses, pension brokers and money services will fall under the Law.
During the public consultation on the Law, representations were made by stakeholders of trust company businesses not to be included under the Law. Whilst trust companies are not expressly included under Article 9 of the Law, it remains unclear how a trust company, for example, when managing pension funds would not equate to the provision of a financial service. Further legislative guidance regarding this is expected under the anticipated Financial Services Ombudsman (Exempt Business) (Jersey) Order 2014.