What can you do if my financial services provider breaches the Code of Practice?

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You can report it to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which will then:

a)      Investigate the alleged breaches;

b)      Provide the opportunity for the alleged breaching party to respond;

c)      Determine whether a breach has occurred;

d)      Reach agreement with the breaching party as to corrective action, time frames and monitoring of completion;

e)      Determine if corrective measures have been implemented within the agreed time frame;

f)       Report any failure to correct the breach to the Code Compliance Committee within 10 business days of the end of the agreed time frame.

The FOS will report to the Code Compliance Committee on:

a)      A significant breach of the Code, including agreed corrective action;

b)      The outcomes of agreed FOS Code compliance monitoring reviews; and

c)      Any incidents where the FOS cannot reach agreement with a breaching party regarding corrective action.

The Code Compliance Committee may impose the following sanctions:

a)      A requirement that particular corrective action be taken within a specified time frame;

b)      A requirement that a compliance audit be undertaken;

c)      Corrective advertising; and/or

d)      Publication of the non-compliance.

Code Compliance Committee decisions are binding on Code subscribers.

Gillian Lilley

Freelance Business Writer

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