About the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO)
The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) is independent of the States and settles disputes between businesses providing financial services and their customers.
The office is in Jersey, but covers financial services provided in Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark.
How to make a complaint
You should first make your complaint to the financial services business concerned. They have up to three months to investigate and respond to your complaint.
If you are unhappy with their reply or have not received a satisfactory response within three months, you may be able to make your complaint to the ombudsman.
The information below summarises the kinds of complaints that the CIFO can look at. More information is available on the CIFO website. Alternatively you can contact the CIFO directly.
Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) website
Who can make a complaint?
The CIFO is able to look at complaints from individual consumers and small businesses (a company that employs less than 10 people and has a yearly turnover of less than €2 million) even if they aren’t in the Channel Islands.
Small Channel Islands charities can also make a complaint to the CIFO.
What you can complain about
Complaints can be made against the following areas of financial services:
- money services
This excludes managers or functionaries of funds that aren’t recognised funds in Jersey or class A funds in Guernsey, Alderney and Sark.
Resolving your case
The financial ombudsman will try to resolve the case by agreeing a fair settlement between both you and the financial services business.
If this doesn't resolve it, the ombudsman will investigate the case further and make a decision.
If you, as the complainant, accept the ombudsman's decision, it becomes legally binding for both parties.
The ombudsman can award compensation for a loss up to a maximum of £150,000, to be paid by the financial services business.
There are certain time limits that must be met for the CIFO to look into your complaint.
If the financial services were provided from Jersey, the event which led to the complaint must have happened on or after 1 January 2010.
If the financial services were provided from Guernsey, Alderney or Sark, the event which led to the complaint must have happened on or after 2 July 2013.
Other time limits may apply. Complaints should be brought to the ombudsman within six years of the event or two years from when you should have become aware of the issue, and within six months of the financial services provider's final response to your complaint.
Complaining about financial services provided from outside the Channel Islands
If you'd like to complain about a financial service that you received from a financial business which is outside of the Channel Islands, you'll need to complain to the ombudsman of that particular jurisdiction.
UK Financial Ombudsman Service website
Isle of Man Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme website
Ireland Financial Services Ombudsman website
Details of all European complaints schemes on FIN-NET website
Establishing the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO)
The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman is the joint operation of two statutory ombudsman roles, established in law by the Financial Services Ombudsman (Jersey) Law 2014 and the Financial Services Ombudsman (Bailiwick of Guernsey) Law 2014.
The CIFO was established through a number of consultations.
These are available below using the links below.
Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme consultation
Financial Services Ombudsman (Jersey) Law 201- secondary legislation consultation
Financial Services Ombudsman funding consultation