The Financial Sector Regulation Act 9 of 2017 establishes the independent Financial Services Tribunal in terms of section 219 thereof. Upon application by aggrieved persons, the Tribunal is empowered to reconsider decisions of decision-makers.
This was seen as a huge improvement in the lot of particularly representatives who had no recourse to an informal dispute resolution forum and were often dumped unceremoniously for reasons totally unrelated to fit and proper requirements.
According to section 234 of the Act, the Tribunal can “set the decision aside and remit the matter to the decision-maker for further consideration; in the case of a decision of any of the following kinds, also make an order setting aside the decision and substituting the decision of the Tribunal. The Tribunal may also, by order, summarily dismiss an application for reconsideration of a decision if the application is frivolous, vexatious or trivial.
As we predicted, there was a huge increase in requests for reconsideration of decisions, and a substantial number of these resulted in the cases being referred back to the decision maker, or unfair debarments being lifted. Surprisingly, even big institutions, with an array of legal services at its disposal, often faltered, particularly in terms of due process.
Of late, we also noticed a rise in the number of requests for reconsideration which were actually ludicrous. People who were blatantly guilty of fraudulent activities brazenly approached the tribunal. They had nothing to lose, but in the process, appeared to have raised the ire of the legal minds who appeared to experience this as their time being wasted.
Two recent cases share examples of why one should not approach the Tribunal unless you have a legitimate gripe.