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 chairman of South West Mutual Ltd (UK) and 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.
John Curran is a member of the board of the Channel Islands Competition & Regulatory Authorities and of the Guernsey Data Protection Authority. He is also a non-voting member of the States of Guernsey Transport Licensing Authority. 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 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.
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.