The Ombud Council has today published notices revoking the recognition of four ombud schemes as industry ombud schemes under the Financial Sector Regulation Act, 2017 (Act No. 9 of 2017) (“FSR Act”) with effect from midnight on 29 February 2024, at the request of the schemes.

The four schemes (“Predecessor Schemes”) are:
    • The Credit Ombud Association
    • The Ombudsman for Banking Services
    • The Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance
    • The Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance.

The revocation of the Predecessor Schemes’ recognition is part of a broader process of reform of the South African financial sector ombud system, which includes the voluntary amalgamation of the Predecessor Schemes to form a new industry ombud scheme, the National Financial Ombud Scheme South Africa (“NFO”). To coincide with the establishment of the NFO, each of the Predecessor Schemes applied to the Ombud Council under section 199(1)(a) to have their own recognition
revoked, subject to and in consequence of the Council granting recognition to the NFO. The Ombud Council has granted the NFO recognition as an industry ombud scheme under section 194 with effect from 1 March 2024 and, in parallel, now also grants the revocation applications of the Predecessor Schemes. Separate notices to this effect will be published on the Ombud Council’s website.

The NFO Scheme will ensure, in accordance with the conditions of its recognition, that financial customers and affected financial institutions will, for at least the next six months, be able to continue using the Predecessor Schemes’ contact details, to access the NFO’s services. Any complaints in the process of being dealt with by a Predecessor Scheme as at 29 February 2024, will be managed to completion by the NFO Scheme. The intention is to ensure that the switch from the Predecessor
Schemes to the harmonised and streamlined complaints handling service of the NFO Scheme, will be as seamless as possible for financial customers, financial institutions, and the Scheme’s other stakeholders. 

The Ombud Council thanks the governing bodies, ombuds, and staff of each of the Predecessor Schemes for the important part they have played over the years in helping to build confidence in the financial sector by ensuring the fair resolution of many thousands of customer complaints. Their hard work and dedication has laid a strong foundation on which to build the new, streamlined NFO. We wish all of those who will now be part of the NFO team, ongoing success in delivering this vital customer service.

Date of publication: 27 February 2024

Revocation of recognition: Ombudsman for Banking Services
Revocation of recognition: Credit Ombud
Revocation of recognition: Ombudsman for Long-term Insurance
Revocation of recognition: Ombudsman for Short-term Insurance