If you feel that a financial services provider has treated you unfairly, you are not alone and help is at hand. Learn more about how you can protect yourself against unscrupulous providers and where you can go in case of an unresolved dispute with your financial provider.
The Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act of 2002 aims to regulate the rendering of certain financial advisory and intermediary (broker) services to you, the consumer. These services include the sale of long and short-term insurance, and the provision of investment advice.
According to the Act, financial services providers have to be licensed and authorised by the Financial Services Board (FSB) in order to operate lawfully. Before your purchase a product from or take advice from a provider ensure that they are registered with the FSB by contacting them on 0800 110 443. Make sure that you have your providers FSP number, ID number or company name on hand.
The Act also makes provision for the FAIS Ombud, which exists to resolve disputes between financial services providers and their clients. If you would like to lodge a complaint with the FAIS Ombud you need to complete a registration form, available from their website at www.faisombud.co.za.
The FAIS Ombud is not the only recourse you have in case of a dispute. If you own a life insurance, dread disease or disablement policy or even a hospital cash back plan you can also approach The Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance for the help you need. Established in 1985, The Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance mediates in disputes between policyholders and long-term insurance providers.
To submit a dispute visit their site at www.ombud.co.za for more information. The services of both the FAIS Ombud and The Ombudsman for Long-Term Insurance are available to consumers free of charge.