Multiple complaints among 1,293 against financial service firms

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THE surprisingly high number of complaints made against financial services businesses in the Channel Islands by consumers included a number of multiple complaints, the regulator has confirmed.

Douglas Melville said at a public presentation of the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman's annual report in Guernsey that there had been 'several multiple complaints' among the 1,293 received during the course of 2016, which was almost double the workload anticipated.

Questioned on the subject more than once by people in the 20-strong audience for the presentation, Mr Melville declined to go into details on individual complaints received, but said that mis-selling of unsuitable investment advice was the most common complaint.

In 2018 Cifo will begin to publish island-specific data and will also start to publish determinations, with company names included.

Mr Melville said that multiple complaints had 'pretty significant implications' for a small office with just three case handlers. He also raised the issue of the value in pursuing cases where the financial services provider was now insolvent and would be unable to pay compensation.

'That creates an additional challenge for us. You could argue what's the point if the cupboard is empty, but at the end of the day, part of it is validation, if an impartial, independent body has seen this and validated it.'

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