Barrister Jane Meares appointed as Chair of Financial Services Complaints Limited

Commercial barrister and Chief Commissioner of the Transport Accident Investigation Commission Jane Meares has been appointed as Chair of independent disputes resolution service Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL) from 1 April.

She replaces former and inaugural Board Chair Kenneth Johnston QC who was appointed an Associate High Court Judge at the end of January.

Chief Executive Officer Susan Taylor said the organisation warmly farewelled Kenneth, who had so ably led the Board since FSCL was established in 2010.

“We congratulate Kenneth on his new role and thank him for his enormous contribution and outstanding support for FSCL over the past eight years.”

Ms Taylor said Jane’s extensive knowledge and practice of commercial and public law combined with broad governance experience would provide valuable new leadership to the board and organisation.

“We look forward to Jane bringing her expertise, wisdom and perspective to the work we’re doing to improve consumer confidence in the financial services sector.”

Ms Meares is a barrister at Clifton Chambers where she is involved in a broad range of public sector and commercial advisory work, working with in-house legal teams, firms of solicitors and overseas clients. Prior to joining Clifton Chambers, Jane was the chief legal adviser at the New Zealand Treasury. She has undertaken a number of independent enquiries and reviews for government departments, provides advice on commercial matters, and assists entities in the development and interpretation of legislation.

In addition to the Transport Accident Investigation Commission, she holds a number of governance roles as chair of the Risk and Audit Committee of the Parliamentary Counsel Office, a director of ECNZ, a member of the Governance and Investor Oversight board of Trustees Executors Limited, an independent member of two commercial advisory boards for the Department of Corrections, chair of the Ballet Foundation of New Zealand Trust and a trustee of the UNICEF Children’s Foundation.

“I am delighted to have been appointed to this role. Since the introduction of KiwiSaver, there has been a renewed focus on savings and investments. As they continue to grow in importance to New Zealanders it is crucial that disputes between providers and the public can be fairly and efficiently resolved.  I look forward to contributing to the work of FSCL in promoting consumer confidence and transparency in this sector.”

The FSCL Board is made up of an independent Chair, two industry representatives (Roger Kerr and Gary Young) and two consumer representatives (Raewyn Fox and Mary Holm).

Background

Jane Meares’ full biography is available at www.cliftonchambers.co.nz/2012/03/jane-meares/

FSCL is an independent not-for-profit external dispute resolution scheme approved by the Minister for Consumer Affairs under the Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008. It was the first scheme to be approved and has been designed for and in consultation with the financial services industry on the principles of efficiency and effectiveness.

FSCL provides dispute resolution services to participating financial service providers and their clients. The FSCL process focuses on resolving complaints through conciliation and assisted negotiation and is also able to make formal determinations which are binding on financial service providers. For more information visit www.fscl.org.nz

The other dispute resolution schemes in the financial services industry are the Banking Ombudsman, the Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman and Financial Dispute Resolution. For more information about the financial services disputes resolution regime visit www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/report-or-resolve-a-problem/banking-finance-and-insurance/banking-finance-and-insurance/