Financial services providers covered

CIFO covers complaints about the following types of financial services provided in/from the Channel Islands:

  • Deposit-taking, as provided by:
    • regulated banks; and
    • other deposit-takers that are excluded from the requirement to take out a banking licence. (9)
  • Credit, as provided by:
    • lenders;
    • credit brokers whose principal business is financial services;
    • credit reference agencies, debt collectors and debt administrators; and
    • debt-adjusters and debt-counsellors (excluding advice that is free or from a charity).
  • Money services, as provided by:
    • bureaux de change;
    • cheque cashers; and
    • money transmission providers.
  • Insurance, as provided by:
    • regulated insurance companies;
    • other insurers that are excluded for the requirement to take out an insurance licence; and
    • insurance intermediaries.
  • Investments, as provided by:
    • investment dealers;
    • investment intermediaries; and
    • managers and other functionaries of recognized funds in Jersey and class A funds in Guernsey.
  • Pensions, as provided by:
    • pension providers;
    • pension intermediaries; and
    • pension managers.

Complainants covered

CIFO covers complaints from the following:

  • individual consumers (whether or not they are in the Channel Islands);
  • micro-enterprises (whether or not they are in the Channel Islands); and
  • Channel Islands charities with annual income under £2 million.

A micro-enterprise (a European Union definition) is a small business or economic enterprise (including a sole trader, partnership or company) that:

  • employs fewer than 10 people; and
  • does not have a yearly turnover or balance sheet of more than €2 million.

The complainant must also have a relationship with the financial services provider:

  • as a customer;
  • as a prospective customer; or
  • that is sufficiently close, as specified in guidance (10) issued by the ombudsman.

Time limits

The act/omission giving rise to the complaint must not be before:

  • 1 January 2010 (Jersey); or
  • 2 July 2013 (Guernsey).

The complainant must refer the complaint to CIFO by the later of:

  • 6 years from the act/omission; or
  • 2 years after complainant should have known he/she had reason to complain.

The complainant must also refer the complaint to CIFO within 6 months of receiving the financial services provider’s decision on the complaint if the financial services provider met certain conditions in handling the complaint, including telling the complainant about CIFO and the 6-month time limit.

The ombudsman can waive the time limits in special cases (for example, where the complainant was delayed by illness).

9 For example, Channel Islands Co-operative Society Limited and Community Savings & Credit Limited