Given the international nature of the financial services sector in the Channel Islands, it is appropriate that that CIFO has formed relationships with various international bodies active in the area of Ombudsman practice, dispute resolution, and financial services.
The International Network of Financial Services Ombudsman Schemes (INFO Network)
CIFO continues to be an active member of the INFO Network whose membership includes about 60 financial sector bodies around the world engaged in dispute resolution for financial services consumers. The INFO Network focuses on professional development and mutual support amongst member schemes. Details on the network can be seen here.
EU Financial Dispute Resolution Network (FIN-NET)
FIN-NET is the European Union’s network of financial dispute resolution schemes and helps consumers resolve cross-border complaints involving financial services. While the Channel Islands are not members of the European Union (EU), the importance of the European market for the Channel Islands’ financial sectors, the extensive regulatory framework being established for the provision of financial services into the EU, and the proportion of complainants referred to CIFO who are resident outside the Channel Islands, make this EU body highly relevant for CIFO. As one of three Official Observers and Affiliate Members of the FIN-NET network (the other two being the Swiss Banking Ombudsman and the Swiss Ombudsman of Private Insurance and of Suva), CIFO attends the semi-annual meetings of FIN-NET. Details on the network can be seen here.
Ombudsman Association (OA)
In 2016 CIFO became a member of the Ombudsman Association (the OA, formerly the British and Irish Ombudsman Association or BIOA) which represents both public and private sector Ombudsman schemes in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Britain’s Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories. Details on this association can be seen here.
UK Financial Ombudsman Service (UK FOS)
Given the close relationship between the Channel Islands and the UK and the fact that many financial services providers in the Channel Islands are branches or subsidiaries of UK-based providers, it is not unexpected that UK changes to financial sector regulations and financial dispute resolution are followed closely by CIFO. Details on UK FOS can be seen here.