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ombudsman principles

principle 6: transparency and accountability

Effective approaches to fundamental principles guide: part 7

Transparency and accountability is a fundamental principle

which members should aspire to comply with, so far as it is within their control


7.1 Financial ombudsman schemes should:

• pay due regard to the overall public interest in forward-planning and day-to-day operations;

• consult publicly about their scope, procedures, business plans and budgets; and

• publish a report at least yearly, explaining the work that they have done.


Effective approaches

that have worked in some countries, though there may possibly be other ways.




7.2 The financial ombudsman scheme consults publicly about:

• its initial scope and procedures;

• any significant changes to its scope and/or procedures; and

• its business plans and budgets.




7.3 The financial ombudsman scheme publishes a report at least yearly, providing information about:

• the disputes it has handled; and

• the way in which it has handled them.


7.4 The report includes details of the numbers and types of disputes that:

• were received;

• were outside the ombudsman scheme’s jurisdiction;

• the ombudsman scheme declined to deal with (even though in jurisdiction);

• were discontinued;

• were resolved by the ombudsman scheme;

• were resolved in favour of the complainant; and

• were resolved in favour of the financial business.


7.5 The report also includes:

• the average time taken to resolve disputes;

• the rate of compliance with outcomes, if known;

• representative case studies;

• any systemic or significant problems identified in the financial system;

• the ombudsman scheme’s governance arrangements;

• how it preserves the independence of its decision makers;

• the ombudsman scheme’s arrangements for control of quality; and

• cooperation with other ombudsman schemes, nationally (where applicable) and internationally.


7.6 The report should make clear whether the financial ombudsman scheme provides information directly to any financial regulator about any systemic or significant problems identified in:

• the financial system; and/or

• individual financial businesses.


7.7 The report is made publicly available:

• on the financial ombudsman scheme’s own website;

• in print; and

• in any other way appropriate in the relevant country.




7.8 The financial ombudsman scheme:

• publishes its annual accounts; and

• has appropriate internal controls to demonstrate financial probity.


Service quality


7.9 The financial ombudsman scheme has a robust mechanism for:

• reviewing the quality of the service it provides; and

• handling complaints about service quality.







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