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Settled Complaints

14 September 2020 The Office of the FAIS Ombud

The Office of the FAIS Ombud (“the Office”) is committed to resolving complaints in a procedurally fair, informal, economical and expeditious manner, with reference to what is equitable in all circumstances.

In order to execute on this commitment, the Office always explores every available avenue to resolve complaints between parties on an informal basis without the need to resort to formal resolution by way of a determination.

The Office recognises that a settlement agreement entered into in order to resolve a complaint via a conciliation process is concluded on a confidential basis. This manner of resolution is also much preferred by the Office whenever possible because it is an expeditious process, it does not expose the parties to legal costs and it lends itself towards the harmonious atmosphere required between consumers and financial services providers that can lead to the requisite confidence of consumers in the financial services industry. Further, some of the issues that arise give the Ombud an opportunity to highlight to the whole industry specific concerns that arise every now and again. The two settlements that have been anonymously sketched below raised an issue with regard to the waiting periods applicable to funeral policies and the financial prejudice that can be experienced by consumers of these policies if they are not appropriately advised and/or informed of the implications of not properly understanding the inception date of the policy and the relationship (if any) thereof with the date of commencement of premiums; all considered with reference to the calculation of a waiting period that may be imposed in the funeral policy.

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