Fairness of outcome and fairness of process... The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) is the trusted independent dispute-resolution service for unresolved complaints involving financial services provided in or from the Channel Islands of Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark.

Governance & Transparency

GOVERNANCE

CIFO is a joint operation of two statutory bodies; the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman (Jersey) and the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman (Guernsey), jointly operating under the name Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman. CIFO operates from a single office in Jersey with the same board members and staff. The States of Jersey and Guernsey jointly appoint the board of directors and the board appoints the principal ombudsman and other ombudsman as may be required in accordance with our law.

The board is part-time and non-executive, with four members. It is independent of the Jersey and Guernsey legislature and does not get involved in deciding cases, nor in the day-to-day management of CIFO. Its key roles are to:

  • appoint the ombudsman and help safeguard his/her independence;
  • help ensure that CIFO has adequate resources to handle its work;
  • oversee the efficiency and effectiveness of CIFO; and
  • advise on the strategic direction of CIFO.

The five members of the board are:

David Thomas (chairman) is an adviser for Citizens Advice (UK). He was formerly: a lawyer in private practice and a member of the Council of the Law Society (England and Wales); Banking Ombudsman (UK); principal ombudsman with the Financial Ombudsman Service (UK); and a director of the Legal Ombudsman (England and Wales). He has advised on financial consumer protection in more than 30 countries.

Deborah Guillou is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants and a Chartered Director with experience in wealth management, insurance and fund management as well as utilities and healthcare. Debbie is currently Chief Executive Officer of Artemis Trustees Ltd in Guernsey and was formerly Chief Executive of the Medical Specialist Group. Previous roles include head of Generali International, chief financial officer of Generali Worldwide Insurance, a senior finance manager at Investec Asset Management, finance director at Guernsey Electricity and an accountant with Fairbairn International.

John Mills CBE was formerly a senior civil servant in the UK and Jersey. In recent years he has held a number of non-executive appointments in the public and statutory sectors, including as a board member of the Jersey Financial Services Commission, vice-chairman of the Port of London Authority and deputy chairman of Ports of Jersey Ltd. Since 2017 he has been Jersey’s first Charity Commissioner. He is a member of the board of both public sector pension funds in Jersey and is also an independent trustee of one of the country’s largest private sector schemes.

Rob Girard is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers and has extensive banking experience with previous roles which include Country Head and Director of Institutional Banking for RBS International/NatWest in Guernsey and Board Director of the NatWest Group Global Captive Insurer. He acted as a committee member for the Association of Guernsey Banks for over 10 years. Rob is also a former member of the Juvenile Panel of Guernsey’s Royal Court.

Antony Townsend currently serves as Chair of the Determinations Panel of the UK Pension Regulator (TPR) and Deputy Chair of the UK Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care. He brings deep experience in complaints handling and regulation. He previously served as the UK’s Financial Regulators Complaints Commissioner, a Director of the Ombudsman Association, Chair of the UK and Ireland Regulatory Board of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and Chair of the Regulation Board of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. Antony is also a former Chief Executive of the Solicitors Regulation Authority and General Dental Council in the UK. In the first part of his career, he was a policy civil servant in the UK Home Office working primarily on criminal justice issues.

Click here to view the latest Board Minutes

TRANSPARENCY

FEEDBACK BY CIFO

This involves CIFO publishing information about the cases it has handled and also identifying generic/systemic issues.

This is for the benefit of the States, Guernsey Financial Services Commision (GFSC) and the Jersey Financial Services Commission (JFSC), industry bodies, consumer bodies and the public. This helps to identify common pitfalls, so that consumers and financial services providers can avoid them.

It also helps policy-makers to identify areas where action may be required in order to improve things for the future.

FEEDBACK TO CIFO BOARD

CIFO is fully-committed to transparency in its operations. Each year, CIFO will post the expenses of each of its directors and the principal ombudsman and chief executive in this section of the website. Click here to view expenses of the Board Directors and Principal Ombudsman

If you have any comments, commendations or concerns that you wish brought directly to the attention of CIFO’s Board of Directors, please click here.