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 shared 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 ombudsman.
The board is part-time and non-executive, with four members. It is independent of the States and does not get involved in deciding cases, nor the day-to-day management of CIFO. Its key roles are to:
- Appoint the ombudsman and help safeguard his/her independence;
- Help ensure that 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 four members of the board are:
David Thomas (chairman) is also a member of the Regulatory Board of the worldwide Association of Chartered Certified Accountants. He was previously: 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 director of the Legal Ombudsman (England and Wales). He has advised on financial consumer protection in more than 20 countries.
John Curran is chairman of Guernsey Mind (the mental health charity). He was formerly: the chief executive of the Channel Islands Competition & Regulatory Authorities; director general of the Office of Utility Regulation (Guernsey); and manager of the Operations Division of the Commission for Communications Regulation (Ireland).
Deborah Guillou is a qualified accountant and chief executive of the Medical Specialist Group in Guernsey. She was formerly: 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 was formerly: a commissioner at the Jersey Financial Services Commission; director of rural policy in the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (England); chief executive (policy and resources) of the States of Jersey; chief executive of Cornwall County Council; director of consumer affairs in the Office of Fair Trading (UK); and a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Policy Unit.
Transparency and 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.
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.