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Press Release

The FOI Resolves Disputes Impartially

Update:2017-06-05

 The Financial Ombudsman Institution (FOI) was recently invited to take part in an event held by IMM International. At the event, it promoted awareness of the significant provisions of the Financial Consumer Protection Act (FCPA) and of the FOI's services and operations. Through analysis of ombudsman cases and illustrative comics with text, it explained the FCPA requirements regarding the obligations of "Truthful Advertising," "KYC (Know-Your-Customer) Suitability Analysis," "Full Explanation," and "Risk Disclosure." The FOI also encouraged the audience to subscribe to its e-newsletters to obtain more information on its awareness initiatives and on the interests of financial consumers, and to enhance their professional competence and service quality by learning from case examples.

 

In his speech at the event, FOI Chairman Jan-Juy Lin noted that many advanced countries have independent, impartial financial ombudsman institutions in place, underscoring the international trend toward financial consumer protection. To better resolve financial consumer disputes, the FOI has set up an Ombudsman Committee, with members selected from among scholars, practitioners, and impartial persons with expertise and professional experience in banking, insurance, securities, and other related fields. Each ombudsman decision is rendered based on impartial, objective considerations, and the result may be favorable to the financial consumer or to the financial services enterprise (FSE). The FOI handles disputes strictly as an impartial third party, and does not take any side of one disputing party.

 

Within the FCPA framework, the FOI is positioned not as a regulator but rather as a resolver of financial consumer disputes and promoter of education and awareness. Nevertheless, to proactively assist the regulator in financial consumer protection, the FOI has adopted its Operational Directions for the Referral of Ombudsman Cases Involving Material Regulatory Violations to the Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC). Pursuant to these Directions, when its Ombudsman Committee handles financial consumer disputes and discovers any material to FSE regulatory violations, the FOI will refer the violation cases to the relevant competent authorities if necessary, so as to fulfill its auxiliary function in financial supervision.

 

In keeping with the Government's open information policy, and to provide public access to Ombudsman Committee decisions in financial consumer dispute cases and, in doing so, further reduce disputes and facilitate their efficient resolution, the FOI is implementing its Ombudsman Decision Statement Query System for public query and review, which is scheduled for online launch on 1 July (on the FOI's website at www.foi.org.tw).

 

Lastly, Jan-Juy Lin shared his experience on his recent participation in an international conference held in Holland by the International Network on Financial Education (INFE) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and stressed the importance of financial literacy education. He pointed out that the aim of financial literacy education is not just on how to invest or manage personal finances, but also on how to build sound money concepts, that is, to spend money wisely while achieving goals in savings, investment, or other personal financial planning. More importantly, for financial education to take deeper and stronger roots, good morality should be built among the public.

 

Since its establishment, the FOI has been devoted to promoting financial education and awareness among FSEs and general financial consumers, as well as in campuses, communities, remote areas, and for women and girls and the Taiwanese aborigines. The FOI wishes that through its education and awareness campaigns the public will better understand how to protect their own interests as financial consumers and build sound financial consumption concepts and literacy knowledge to prevent disputes from occurring.

 photo

Fig.: FOI Chairman Jan-Juy Lin delivers an opening speech. Photo provided IMM International.



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