Date: 29 February 2024

The Ombud Council welcomes the release of the National Treasury’s Policy Statement, “A Simpler, Stronger Financial Sector Ombud System.”

The Policy Statement sets out the intended future landscape of a reformed financial ombud system. It confirms the National Treasury’s  support for key elements of reforms recommended by the World Bank Group in their 2021 study “South Africa – Financial Ombud System Diagnostic”.  The Diagnostic study was published very shortly after the Ombud Council became operational in May 2021 and the Ombud Council has been mindful of the Study’s proposals in our own strategic planning.

The National Treasury Policy Statement’s publication comes at an opportune time. It coincides with the Ombud Council’s recognition on 23 February 2024 of the National Financial Ombud Scheme South Africa (“NFO”) as an industry ombud scheme under the Financial Sector Regulation Act, with effect from 1 March 2024. The NFO represents the amalgamation of four previous industry ombud schemes: The Credit Ombud; the Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance; the Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance; and the Banking Ombudsman. As the National Treasury points out in its media statement accompanying the policy paper, the recognition of the NFO “is an important step towards the broader reforms outlined in the policy position and will simplify their implementation”.

The Ombud Council looks forward to continuing to work with the National Treasury, all the financial ombud schemes, other interested regulators, and the financial sector as a whole, to achieve the important policy goal of a simpler, stronger financial sector ombud system.

Leanne Jackson

Chief Ombud

Ombud Council

National Treasury media statement
National Treasury Policy Statement
National Treasury Feedback Statement