FDR is an independent dispute resolution scheme to help consumers and financial service providers to resolve disputes. The scheme is free for consumers to use.
FDR provides a three-level complaint process, which aims to resolve disputes efficiently and thoroughly. Many disputes can be resolved in the initial stages of the dispute process, but those that can’t be resolved are escalated up through the three levels.
If an agreement between the parties cannot be reached, FDR issues a formal decision. If a consumer agrees with the formal decision it becomes binding on the Scheme Member. Consumers who are still not happy with the outcome have the option of taking their dispute through other channels such as the Courts or the Disputes Tribunal.
The dispute resolution process
Registration – the complaint is assessed for jurisdiction and deadlock. The complaint must have already been made to the Scheme Member, and the Scheme Member given an opportunity to resolve it. The complaint must also be about an event that happened on or after 1 October, 2010 (the date from which FDR can accept complaints), or after the date that the Scheme Member joined FDR.
Level 1 – Information is gathered from all parties and exchanged. This may often result in resolution, once all the parties can see all of the information, and gain a better understanding of the others’ position. However, if there is no resolution at this stage the dispute moves to Level 2.
Level 2 – FDR gathers more information from all parties and assesses the dispute. At this level FDR aims to help the parties reach an agreement themselves.
FDR arranges meetings and acts as a mediator between the parties. The meetings are either face-to-face or via video or telephone conference. If the parties can’t reach an agreement or a meeting doesn't take place, FDR considers all of the information and recommends a settlement. If the parties don’t agree to the recommended settlement, the dispute moves to Level 3.
Level 3 – FDR proposes a final decision. If the parties don’t agree with the proposed decision, FDR issues a final decision. If the final decision is accepted by the consumer the decision becomes binding on the Scheme Member.
If the consumer is still not happy with the outcome the complaint is closed. The consumer is still able to take the matter through other channels such as the Courts or the Disputes Tribunal.
If a dispute has been brought to FDR but ends up being settled between the parties outside of the FDR process, the dispute will be charged to the Scheme Member at the level that it was last handled by FDR.
If the parties reach a private settlement FDR strongly recommends a formal agreement document is drawn up by FDR, to ensure the agreement is absolutely clear to all parties, that the decision can be enforced, and that there is an independent record of what was agreed.
Types of disputes covered
Any consumer or business that has received financial services or advice from a Scheme Member, or who has been denied access to financial services or advice by a Scheme Member, can use the FDR service at no cost.
Disputes can cover the services and advice that has been received from a Scheme Member, but not the Scheme Member's general policies and practices or fees.
FDR can only award up to $200,000 in compensation. A complaint involving more than $200,000 can be taken to FDR however the maximum compensation available will be limited to $200,000.
Any consumer or business that has received or been denied financial services or advice from a Scheme Member can use the FDR service, at no cost. Consumers are defined as individuals or organisations fewer than 20 full-time employees (or the equivalent). However FDR can also accept complaints from larger organisations at its discretion.
In order to comply with legislation, Scheme Members need to have an internal procedure for dealing with complaints.
They must advise present and prospective clients about their complaint handling procedure, and make it clear that they are members of FDR. Scheme Members must agree to provide all necessary information in a complaint process, and agree to be bound by the rules of the scheme.
FDR provides detailed information about how to set up an efficient and effective internal complaint process to all of its Scheme Members once they have joined FDR.
A full copy of the FDR scheme rules can be found on-line, on the New Zealand Legislation website.
The Advisory Body is appointed by the Government to monitor FDR. The Advisory Body is made up of seven members:
- Three members based on governance experience and knowledge of, or connections with, the industry
- Three members to represent consumer interests, including one from a nationally recognised body concerned with consumer interests
- An independent Chair.
Members of the Advisory Body will be appointed for either two or three years, to maintain continuity.
As part of FDR's commitment to international best practice for dispute resolution, it has an independent panel to call on when an expert opinion is required by the Scheme Adjudicator. Each of the panel members is carefully selected for their expertise in their respective field. To avoid any conflict of interest they must not be practicing, or otherwise declare any potential conflict - in which case they will stand aside on cases where a conflict ay arise
The FDR expert panel members are:
- Chartered Accountant,
- Consultant to Banking Ombudsman 2008-present,
- MED 2006-2008,
- Financial Ombudsman Service (UK) 2004-2005,
- Client Advisor Goldman Sachs JB Were 1996-2003,
- Client Advisor Merrill Lynch 1992-1996,
- TrustBank 1990-1992.
- Partner in Greg Kelly Law Limited, specialists in trusts, wills, estates and elder law
- Previously General Counsel The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Ltd,
- 30 years experience as a lawyer specialising in trust and estate work,
- co-authored New Zealand legal text book on trusts – Garrow and Kelly “Law of Trusts and Trustees” (6th edition),
- co-authored legal text on wills, probate and estates – “Dobbie’s Probate and Administration Practice” (5th edition),
- Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand,
- member of the UK Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).
- LLM BA Dip Mgmt TEP.
- Executive Director, Financial Services Federations Inc 1988-2010,
- Executive Office and Director, Commerce Commission 1978-1988,
- Pre 1988 included work as an analyst with |the Productivity Centre and six years experience as a share broker,
- Senior Fellow Financial Services Institute of Australasia,
- BCA Economics VUW,
- DipBank, Massey.
David Greenslade BA, MBA, Dip Mgt, Dip Bus Studies (PFP), AFNZIM, MInstD, AFA
- Managing Director of Strategi Ltd and Strategi Institute Ltd
- Author of a the book ACES and Harnessing the Opportunity to Build Profitable Businesses
- Publisher and editor of the Sales and Marketing Kit for Financial Advisers; the Portfolio Construction Manual; the Best Practices Manual, and the Investment Knowhow series of publications
- Published artilces and comments in financialalert, Good Returns, NBR, Asset Magazine, Money Management, Journal of Financial Advice and Leading Minds Academy
- Developed and published “A Reference Guide to Key Legislation and Code of Professional Conduct”
- Innovative product Design Limited, Managing Director
- Board Member and Non-Executive Director of Southern Response Earthquake Services Limited
- Previously CEO Ginger Group
- Authorised under the UK Financial Services Act
- Responsible for developing the original network of founding independent advisers for Sovereign
- Manager of AIA in the mid-1990s
- Previously Managing director of AIG Life in Australia
- Served on the board of the ISI, the Ombudsman’s Board, the risk committee of IFSA in Australia
- Previously a director of Fidelity Life
Ho Yew Mun MBA MSID
- Independent director of companies listed on the Singapore Exchange
- Extensive experience in capital and securities markets in Singapore and Hong Kong
- Managing Director, Investment Banking Group, Global Financial Markets 2001 - 2005
- Senior Vice President, Singapore Exchange (SGX), DBS Bank Ltd
- Financial Management Consultant, Treasury (New Zealand)
- Manager, Financial Management Policy Implementation, FMR Treasury
- President, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants, Singapore
- International Assembly Member, Association of Chartered Certified Accountants UK
- Advisor, Social Impact Exchange (Asia); and Singapore Representative, the East Asia Certified Public Accountants, Singapore
- Member of the New Zealand Institute of Accountants
- Member of the Singapore Institute of Directors
Dr Chris Malone
- Lecturer in Finance, School of Economics and Finance, Massey University
In house experts
FDR also has in-house experts:
Stuart Ayres, Manager;
20 years with banking and finance companies; 11 years in mortgage and insurance broking (risk, health, fire &general), including 7 years in governance of New Zealand Mortgage Brokers Association.
Rob Tucker, Auckland Representative
Rob Tucker has joined FDR as its Auckland representative. Rob will be involved in business development, relationship management, training of members and consumer awareness. Rob has an extensive background in banking, finance companies and mortgage broking encompassing 35 years. From 1992-2002 Rob owned and grew Loan Plan Ltd to one of the largest mortgage broking businesses in New Zealand . He was the founding Chairman of New Zealand Mortgage Brokers Association, elected for five consecutive terms; assisted with the establishment and became managing director of a finance company; managing director of an events management company; lectured in Advanced Property Finance and Investment; is a consultant to a mortgage management company and a contributory mortgage company. He is an Assessor of Standard Set C and subject matter expert with ETITO and is a director of a number of companies. He loves golf; cycling; travel; flying and family activities. Rob has a lot to offer FDR and its clients.
Pat Brown, Facilitator;
18 years employed in stockbroking firms, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand
Expert and experienced in disputes resolution, the FDR Adjudicators and Conciliators are all lawyers and members of AMINZ - Arbitrators and Mediators Institute of New Zealand. They have successfully mediated across many industries and have received training in the finance sector. In keeping with international best practice it is critical the mediation team are not the financial experts, but that they can access expertise when required.
The FDR Facilitators are the frontline personnel who receive and register complaints, and liaise with consumers and Scheme Members at a high level. Facilitators work closely with the Scheme Adjudicator, and aim to resolve disputes as early as possible.