Independent review finds FSCL an effective dispute resolution scheme

The review, undertaken by The Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance (FEMAG), says FSCL meets the requirements of the relevant legislation and adheres to principles and practices that meet international benchmarks. “It is very well governed and managed such that its services are delivered efficiently and are of the highest quality.” 

FSCL is an approved external dispute resolution scheme under the Financial Services Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act 2008. Amongst other requirements, the Act requires approved schemes to undergo external review every five years. This is the first review of FSCL to be conducted under the legislation. 

FSCL Chair Kenneth Johnston said the Board and Management were thrilled with the review, particularly given the calibre of the review team from FEMAG, which included a number of former Ombudsmen and consumer protection experts. 

“The review was extremely thorough and professional, calling on input from our participants, complainants and government and community stakeholders, as well as a range of other sources. To hear independent feedback that our service is ‘a real life saver’ and ‘we like telling customers we are a member of FSCL and are proud to be one’ is extremely pleasing.” 

Mr Johnston said as Chair he valued getting an independent view that FSCL adheres to natural justice principles with no evidence of bias in investigations or decision making. 

“I am also heartened by FEMAG’s view that much of the explanation for our significant growth since we started operating in 2010 is due to confidence amongst financial service providers in the quality and cost efficiency of our service.” 

The review also offered recommendations on a number of areas across the wider financial services dispute resolution regime including relating to: 

  • the efficacy of the competitive model which operates in New Zealand
  • increasing accessibility/awareness of the schemes
  • the use of the term Ombudsman
  • publishing participant’s names against statistics in annual reports and websites.

Financial Services Complaints Ltd Independent Review Conducted by the Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance is available here.

FSCL'S Preliminary Response to the Independent Review is available here.

Media contact:

Susan Taylor, Chief Executive Officer FSCL

P: (04) 472 3725, M: 021 048 0699

E: susantaylor@fscl.org.nz

Background

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. It is governed by an independent Board with equal consumer and industry representatives, and an independent Chair. 

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. The FSCL process is free to consumers.

For more information on FSCL visit www.fscl.org.nz.

The other dispute resolution schemes in the financial services industry are the Banking Ombudsman, the Insurance and Savings Ombudsman and Financial Disputes Resolution.

For more information about the financial services disputes resolution regime visit www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/for-consumers/how-to-complain/financial-service-providers-disputes-resolution/

The Foundation for Effective Markets and Governance (FEMAG) is an experienced non-profit international research, advising and review body specialising in consumer and competition policy, regulation, and government accountability systems.  http://femag.org.au