South African Financial Services Ombudsman (FAIS)

As a financial services advocacy center, FAIS is first and foremost in compliance with the Constitution and statutory mandate of the Republic of South Africa.

Organization Profile

1. Institutional nature
FAIS is a dispute resolution body established under the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act. From April 1, 2005, FAIS officially became a statutory complaint body. This means that FAIS is able to handle complaints related to financial institutions and has jurisdiction over any other grievance scheme, and the uncertainty of jurisdiction no longer exists.
2. Institutional Vision
Through fair and impartial justice, build trust and confidence in the financial services industry, and become the preferred and prompt dispute resolution forum for clients.
3. Regulatory Mission
Promote consumer protection and contribute to the integrity of the financial services industry by resolving complaints in a fair, fast, affordable, convenient and fair manner.
4. Contact Information
Tel/Fax: +27127625000/27124709080
Email: [email protected]
Complaint service address: [email protected]
Complaint status consultation email: [email protected]
Address: Sussex Office Park,Ground Floor,Block B,473 Lynnwood Road,Cnr Lynnwood Road&Sussex Ave,Pretoria,0081

Complaint Handling

I. Complaints possible
FAIS accepts complaints when:
(1) The financial service provider violated or failed to comply with the provisions of the FAIS Act as a result of which the complainant suffered or is about to suffer financial losses.
(2) arbitrarily imposes a financial service on the complainant and thereby causes the complainant to suffer or have the potential to suffer losses.
(3) The complainant was treated unfairly.
1. Before making a complaint, be aware of the following:
A. Before submitting a complaint to FAIS, the complainant must first try to communicate with the respondent to resolve the complaint. During the communication process, it is recommended to communicate in writing and retain relevant evidence;
B. The amount jurisdiction of FAIS is R800,000, that is to say, FAIS will not handle complaints with an amount exceeding R800,000 unless the complainant is willing to waive the amount exceeding the amount of R800,000, or the respondent agrees that the case will be FAIS processing;
C. FAIS will not investigate a complaint until it receives it, or if the complainant appeals to the court in the course of the investigation, the FAIS will stop the investigation.
2. The complainant should fill in the Complaint Registration Form, and the complainant can obtain the Complaint Registration Form in the following three ways
A. ("Complaint Registration Form" Word Version Download URL)
B. ("Complaint Registration Form" PDF version download site")
C. In addition, the complainant can also contact the FAIS office by phone, fax or email to request a complaint registration form
3. Notes for filling in the Complaint Registration Form
A. Before filling in the form, the complainant is advised to read the form thoroughly and collect the necessary information before filling it;
B. When submitting the form to FAIS, attach all supporting documentation, such as all correspondence, policy documents, and application forms received or sent by the complainant in relation to the complaint, as well as the contact information of the counterparty for communications with the respondent Contact details.
4. Signature
A. After filling in the "Complaint Registration Form", the complainant must sign the form, FAIS will not accept the complaint form without signature;
B. If the "Complaint Registration Form" cannot write down all the contents, the complainant can attach additional paper;
C. If there is any problem in filling out the form, the complainant can contact FAIS
2. Complaint process

Three, the adjudication process
(1) When the case is submitted to the adjudication department for adjudication, it will be assigned to an adjudicator. The adjudicator reviews the entire case and supporting documents before making a decision. The adjudicator may request additional information and documents from both parties. First, the adjudicator can issue proposals to both parties to initially resolve the case. If the adjudicator's proposal is rejected, the rejecting party must submit the reasons for rejection within the specified time. Complaints will only be adjudicated by the Ombudsman after all attempts by the parties to resolve the case have failed.
The handling of complaint cases depends on whether they are based on reasonable grounds, so there is no strict time frame.
After making a ruling, FAIS will issue a ruling and notify all parties of the ruling. The decision can be appealed within 1 month from the date of issue.
(2) If the decision is appealed, the written reasons for the appeal must be provided. FAIS will review the reasons and then decide to accept or deny the application for leave to appeal. Whether an application for leave to appeal is granted depends on two aspects: a. whether it is possible for the Appeals Board to reach a different conclusion on the case; b. whether the case is complicated.
The Appeals Board is an independent entity and does not act on the instructions of the Appeals Office. If your application for leave to appeal is refused, you may apply to the Board of Appeal for leave to appeal.
After a complaint is referred to the Appeals Board, which considers the case, the Appeals Board overturns, supplements or modifies the FAIS judgment and makes its own judgment.
(3) If the complainant or the respondent does not appeal after the ruling, or the original decision is upheld after the appeal, FAIS is legally obliged to submit the ruling to the court. This means that the ruling in this case amounts to a civil judgment by a magistrate or a superior court.
FAIS will inform the complainant of the civil judgment and then close the complaint case.
If the respondent fails to execute the order or does not pay the amount due to the complainant in accordance with the order, the complainant may apply for an enforcement order.
4. Appeal
If the complainant is not satisfied with the outcome of the process, he may file an informal appeal and refer it to the adjudicating department office.
In such cases, the complainant should provide written grounds for appeal.
(1) After the appeal is submitted, a file will be established (all correspondence will be placed in the file), and then the file will be forwarded to the adjudication department within two (2) business days of receipt of the grounds for appeal.
(2) After that, the case will be assigned to an adjudicator who will review the grounds of appeal and make a decision on whether to reopen the file. The adjudicator's decision will be communicated to the complainant in writing within five (5) business days of receipt of the file by the adjudicating department.
If you have any questions about your appeal, please consult Ms. Hestie Teessen: [email protected]

Complaint status query

Complainants can fill in the complaint case status inquiry form on the following webpage, fill in all required information and submit an inquiry request, and FAIS will feedback relevant information.

Complaint handling decision query

According to Section 28 of the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services Act, if the complaint case is not resolved or the parties do not accept the FAIS proposal, the FAIS will make a final decision, including:
1. Withdraw the complaint; or
2. Support the complaint in whole or in part, such as giving the complainant a reasonable amount of compensation to cover the financial discrimination or loss suffered by the complainant.
A FAIS ruling has the effect of a court civil judgment.
Note: You can search the FAIS complaint cases in the past years on the following webpage, select the category and year of the complaint, and then you can find the information you want to inquire.
Below is information on all foreign exchange complaints handled by FAIS since 2005,

Additional links

Ministry of Finance:
Banking Complaints Office:
National Credit Supervision Bureau:

Relevant Navigation

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