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.

Staff

PRINCIPAL OMBUDSMAN & STAFF

CIFO’s experienced and professional staff is drawn from a variety of fields and disciplines such as law, regulation, administration, public policy, finance, banking, insurance and investments. Our staff are committed to conscientious, fair and timely dispute resolution, which is evident in their dealings with all parties.

CIFO’s staff includes a principal ombudsman and chief executive, a manager of complaints resolution, a manager of finance and administration, an information officer, administration officers, and one or more case handlers and legal assistants depending on complaint volumes.

Our small team based in Jersey responds to initial enquiries and complaints that are received by phone, email, online, and letters each year. Our manager of complaints resolution monitors the cases we look at, manages case progression and operational matters. Our manager of finance and administration is responsible for managing the office function, information technology and oversees our administration team. Our information officer is responsible for CIFO’s outreach, data protection, and communication activities.

Our case handlers deal directly on a daily basis with complainants and financial service providers to resolve complaints through mediation and, when required, investigate to find a fair and reasonable outcome to return the complainant to the position they would have been in if the matter complained about had not occurred.

In 2015, the board appointed Douglas Melville as the principal ombudsman and chief executive. He took up the post on 1 June 2015. The principal ombudsman and chief executive is responsible for the dual role of ombudsman as decision-maker with respect to complaints as well as directing the day-to-day operation of the office. The appointment of the principal ombudsman is made on a renewable term of five years. In 2020, Mr Melville’s term was renewed for a further five years.

Mr Melville is a past-chairman of the worldwide International Network of Financial Services Ombudsman Schemes (INFO Network) and has advised internationally on financial consumer protection for the World Bank and others. Until May 2015 he was the ombudsman and chief executive of the Canadian Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments. A professional mediator (CMC) and arbitrator (CIArb), he qualified as a barrister and solicitor in Canada and became an ombudsman in 2006. Before that, he held senior roles in the banking, investment and insurance industries. He has also served as a board member of various not-for-profit organisations covering healthcare, the environment, anti-poverty policy, financial literacy, international development and the performing arts. He currently serves as vice-chair and commissioner of Jersey Overseas Aid, appointed by the States of Jersey, and is a director of the Ombudsman Association (formerly the British and Irish Ombudsman Association).