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Tribunal overturns FAIS Ombud summary dismissal of complaint

The summary dismissal of a complaint by the FAIS Ombud was overturned by the Financial Sector Tribunal in a decision published on 30 April 2021.

The complaint was dismissed by the Ombud in terms of Rule 7(b)(i) of the Rules of the Proceedings of the Office of the Ombud which provides that the Ombud may dismiss a complaint without referral to any other party if, on the facts provided by the complainant, it appears to the Ombud that the complaint does not have any reasonable prospect of success.

The consequence of the summary dismissal was that the product house, against whom the complaint was laid, was not asked for its input on the matter.

When the complainant applied for leave to apply for a reconsideration of the decision, the Tribunal found that there were material issues that needed to be considered, which were not addressed by any party. It also noted that the documentation was, in any event, incomplete.

The Tribunal found it is impossible to make a finding on the papers before it and, specifically because the Ombud had not applied the audi principle by notifying the product provider of the complaint and inviting its input.

The decision by the Ombud was set aside and referred back for investigation of the complaint in the normal manner.

Click here to download the Financial Services Tribunal notes.

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4 Responses to Tribunal overturns FAIS Ombud summary dismissal of complaint

  1. Peter Lucas 4 May 2021 at 11:08 am #

    Very enlightening article. I would like to see the complaint originally made by the applicant against the Liberty Group, which wassummarily dismissed by the Ombud.
    I trust a future article will be written about the results of the ordered reconsideration.

    I would hope that the the reconsideration does not damage the Ombud’s credibility as the ultimate authority in matters of conflict between Complainant and Provide.r

    • Paul Kruger 5 May 2021 at 10:17 am #

      Hi Peter. Unfortunately, the Ombud does not publish these details – only actual determinations. If anything does happen, and is published, we will report back on it. You may also find another case referred back to the FSCA interesting. It concerns a 10 year debarment and fine of RR58 million which was reversed and changed to an “enforceable undertaking”. We will report on that soon.

  2. MARILIZE 5 May 2021 at 8:27 am #

    To whom it may concern
    I am in a spin with a Pension service provider after 18mnth after the death of pension fund contrubuter as a dependant of 8 yrs i was not consulted in numerous times and now find that 20%is decided to me his brother passed away in covid period a d his dependant share has also been divided to the estate of a inheritance to a ’02 will…ive disupted the case and was told monies was paid allready to her…How do i get someome to investigate the case ive stopped payment from Ou Mutual due to unfairly handled and treated in this painful matter how do i contact Ombud and get advice on how i must handle this matter….i have proof of medical support,food every mnth and monthly contributions since ’12-19 and days b4 day of Late Brians bday and passing that day… we looked after a little boy since ’14 we borh decided to raise him…Now after a R1m investment i was told i get after Tax only a R150k…how will i secure anything not even for my old age

    • Paul Kruger 5 May 2021 at 10:13 am #

      Hi Marilize. This is a very tricky field, and numerous disputes arise as result of how pension fund proceeds are divided. All I can suggest is that you contact the Pension Fund Adjudicator and lay a complaint. The call centre number is 086 066 2837, or send an email to enquiries@pfa.org.za. Good luck with your quest.

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