Ensuring Consumer Confidence In The Financial Sector

Friday, April 1, 2011

Yesterday was the deadline for financial advisers to join a free dispute resolution scheme, meaning that consumers and small businesses can get independent assistance if they have a dispute with a financial service provider, Minister of Consumer Affairs John Boscawen said today.


“This was the final stage of the implementation of the Financial Service Providers Dispute Resolution regime that began in December and covers banks, insurance companies, financial advisers, finance companies, brokers, money managers and KiwiSaver providers,” Mr Boscawen said.


“Prior to this regime only banks and insurance companies had an independent body to hear complaints.  Now anyone handling New Zealanders’ money must be registered and be part of one of four free dispute resolution schemes – the Insurance & Savings Ombudsman, the Banking Ombudsman, the Financial Dispute Resolution, and Financial Services Complaints Limited (FSCL).


“These services cover all aspects of the financial services industry and provide consumers and small businesses with an avenue to seek resolution should a dispute arise with any kind of financial service provider.


“Consumers need confidence when transacting in the marketplace – and especially when dealing in financial matters.  Access to free and independent disputes resolution will ensure that high standards are maintained in the financial industry, and will give consumers confidence that they will be treated fairly where a dispute arises,” Mr Boscawen said.


For more information about dispute resolution services, visit http://www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz/for-consumers/how-to-complain.