Establishment of Financial Services Ombudsman Essential

| May 4, 2015

The deputy secretary for financial policy at the Ministry Finance and Development Planning, Ms Ellen Richard-Madisa says the need to have a single entity that redresses mechanisms for the entire financial sector has given rise to the need to establish a financial services ombudsman.

Responding to questions about the ministry’s intention to establish a financial services ombudsman, Ms Richard-Madisa said, unlike the current ombudsman, the entity would deal with complaints from customers against transactions with financial service providers.

On the other hand, the current Office of the Ombudsman investigates complaints of injustice or maladministration the public service received from the public, including corporate bodies.

She said all consumers of financial services should have an effective alternative to seek redress through the courts, adding that consumers would be provided with a ‘one stop shop’ access to redress mechanism by establishing a single ombudsman reporting to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning for the entire financial sector.

Ms Richard-Madisa further added that the establishment of such an entity should offer aantages in cases which may involve banks and non-banks, such as the sale of credit life insurance through a bank, or consumer protection on issues associated with possible criminal conduct, citing the example of illegal pyramid schemes.

She said the financial services ombudsman would offer a more cost effective solution than separate redress mechanisms for different sectors.

About the establishment date of the envisaged financial services ombudsman, Ms Richars-Madisa was not certain, safe to say funds were not yet available, and that the entity would be funded through the normal budgetary process.

Source : BOPA

Source : Botswana Daily News

Category: Business & Finance

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