Finance Minister Tito Mboweni has announced the appointment of Eileen Meyer as Chief Ombud of the first Ombud Council Board.
In a statement, Mboweni said the appointment gives effect to the new financial Ombud system in terms of the Financial Sector Regulation Act No. 9 of 2017 (FSR Act).
Meyer’s appointment to the Ombud Council is a transitional measure, until a full-time Chief Ombud is appointed.
The Ombud Council is established in terms of section 175(1) of the FSR Act.
“The objective of the Ombud Council is to assist in ensuring that financial customers have access to, and are able to use affordable, effective, independent and fair alternative dispute resolution processes for complaints about financial institutions in relation to financial products, financial services and services provided by financial infrastructures,” said the Ministry of Finance in a statement.
The Ombud Council will have oversight powers over both the statutory and industry Ombuds.
These include the Pension Fund Adjudicator; Ombud for Financial Services Providers (FAIS Ombud); Credit Ombud; Ombudsman for Long – Term Insurance; Ombudsman for Short – Term Insurance; Ombudsman for Banking Services; and the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Ombud.
The Ombud Council will recognise industry schemes, set enhanced governance and accountability requirements, and harmonise and strengthen standards of practice for each ombud scheme through rule making and enforcement powers, to develop a uniform and consistent framework for external dispute resolution mechanisms across the financial services sector.
“Ms Eileen Meyer has been appointed as a Chief Ombud for the Ombud Council in terms of section 188 (1) of the FSR Act, which follows the appointment of the first Board of Directors (BoD), effective for a three-year term commencing 1 November 2020, in terms of section 180 of the FSR Act,” the Ministry said on Monday.
The BoD, is now quorate and properly constituted following the appointment of the Chief Ombud, the Ombud Council will now be able to commence its work and fulfil its statutory mandate.
The appointment of the Chief Ombud for a short period is a transitional measure, to enable the Ombud Council to commence operations and enables the Board to commence the process to appoint a full-time Chief Ombud.
The Council is made up of Deanne Wood (chairperson), Advocate Dikeledi Chabedi (vice chairperson), Emmanuel Lekgau, Silindile Kubheka, Adam Horowitz, Charmaine Soobramoney, and Katherine Gibson (acting Financial Sector Conduct Authority Commissioner).
The current acting Financial Sector Conduct AuthorityCommissioner will serve on the BoD until Unathi Kamlana assumes office as the recently appointed full-time Commissioner.