After the IFSO Scheme accepts a complaint that has reached “deadlock”, it is allocated to a case manager who investigates it.
We are neutral - we do not take sides. We use an inquisitorial process, which means we get the information and evidence we need to be able to consider the complaint. We will talk to you and the financial services provider and get information and supporting documents/evidence from both of you. Sometimes we also need to get information from third parties or experts, such as doctors, mechanics, or engineers.
Where possible, the case manager will try to resolve the complaint by agreement using negotiation, conciliation or, sometimes, mediation. If that is not possible, the case manager will make a decision.
If the complaint is resolved by agreement, that agreement is binding on both parties. You may be asked to sign something confirming that.
Where the complaint is not resolved and the IFSO Scheme makes a decision, that decision is binding on you and the financial services provider if you accept the decision. If you do not accept the decision, none of your legal rights have been compromised by making a complaint to the IFSO Scheme. You are able to pursue the complaint in the Disputes Tribunal or a Court.
It is important to remember that we cannot always give you the outcome you want. If the insurance policy has an exclusion that applies, or the cover is not broad enough to cover the claim, or the loan agreement clearly states that fees and interest are payable, we may not be able to help you.
The IFSO Scheme’s Terms of Reference set out the criteria we must use to make a decision about a complaint. They say we must make a decision by reference to what, in our opinion, is fair and reasonable in all of the circumstances. In doing that, we may consider:
We have published this Guidance explaining how we use our fair and reasonable jurisdiction on our website.
Almost 80% of the complaints we investigate are resolved in less than 90 days. Some cases are complex and will take longer, and others are more straight forward and will be resolved more quickly. We will keep you informed of your complaint’s progress and the likely timeframes.
Where the IFSO Scheme makes a decision, that decision is binding on you and the financial services provider if you accept the decision.
If you do not accept the decision, none of your legal rights have been compromised by making a complaint to the IFSO Scheme. You can pursue the complaint in the Disputes Tribunal or a Court.
Yes. If you want or need someone, you can appoint a representative to help you to make a complaint. They are usually a member of your family, a friend, a financial mentor or a person from a Community Law Centre.
To protect your privacy and to make sure your representative has authority to act on your behalf, we will need you to sign our confirmation that you are appointing the representative and that you authorise us to deal with the representative. Your representative will also need to sign a Privacy and Confidentiality Declaration agreeing to be bound by the same IFSO Scheme privacy and confidentiality rules as you are.
Even if you have authorised a representative, there will be some circumstances where we need to communicate directly with you. We may, for example, need to get information about the circumstance of the complaint directly from you. We will also copy you into our communications about settlement offers and any decision we make.
If you are a representative, we expect you to act in the best interests of the person you represent. We expect you to keep the Complainant informed of what is happening with the investigation, to discuss settlement offers and decisions with them and to accurately provide us with their responses.
To act as a representative, simply indicate on our online complaint form that your role is a representative and we will contact you with next steps.
Click for a full list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about our dispute resolution service. If you question is not answered in these sections, or if you are unsure about anything just call us on 0800 888 202 or email us firstname.lastname@example.org
For frequently asked questions for specific areas in financial services go to our tips and cases section or click on these links and scroll down to the FAQ section: vehicle insurance, home and contents insurance, health insurance, life insurance, Financial Advice Providers and financial advisers, loans and credit, superannuation including KiwiSaver and investments.