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World Bank – Fundamentals for a financial ombudsman

The World Bank outlines the fundamentals for the creation of an independent and effective financial ombudsman in its 2012 report. These fundamentals comprise some basic principles as well as a significant number of practical design issues.

Drawing on previous reports from The World Bank and others, the 2012 report starts by summarising how financial ombudsmen and other ADRs increase consumer confidence in financial services, and hence also benefit financial businesses by helping markets to improve and grow.

The report goes on to explain some of the additional issues and standards which should be taken into account in states which are members of the European Union or wish to join the European Union or wish to aspire to similar standards.

It describes how financial ombudsmen have grown in the developed financial market of western Europe, and provides case studies. It also summarises the current position in relation to consumer complaints against financial businesses in central/eastern Europe.

The report then outlines the key issues to be borne in mind by expert advisers when assisting in creating a financial ombudsman, or developing an existing one – including governance, funding, coverage, procedure, accessibility, transparency and accountability.

While taking account of the relevant constitutional, legal and cultural circumstances in different countries, it is important to remain true to the basic ombudsman principles (including independence and efficiency).

For more information, you can find the full report here