Consumers Association of Penang

Giving voice to the little people...since 1970

Ombudsman For Financial Services (OFS)

When you have problems with goods or services you seek out the Consumer Claims Tribunal.

For problems with your developer you can turn to the Home Buyer Claims Tribunal.

For those with banking or insurance problems they can seek out the Ombudsman For Financial Services (OFS).

For the full text of the Terms of Reference for the Ombudsman for Financial Services, click here (http://www.ofs.org.my/en/terms_of_reference)

What is the role of OFS?

It is a body set up to settle disputes that may arise between consumers and the financial service providers licensed and approved by Bank Negara Malaysia.

Who are the financial service providers?

Banks both conventional and Islamic

Insurance companies and takaful operators

Designated payment instrument issuers and designated Islamic payment instrument issuers

Insurance/Takaful brokers

Financial Development Institutions (e.g. Bank Kerjasama Rakyat (M’sia) Bhd, Bank Simpanan Nasional, Bank Pertanian Malaysia Bhd)

Financial advisers and Islamic financial advisers

Do I have to pay for using the OFS?

The service of the OFS is free. Its services are an alternative to, and not a replacement for legal actions taken in court of law.

Is the decision of the OFS binding on all parties?

If the complainant accepts the OFS’s final decision within 30 days from the date of the decision, the Parties to a Dispute are bound by the decision. The OFS may, after considering the reason for any delay, grant an extension of time during which the complainant may accept the OFS’s final decision and if accepted, such decision shall bind the Parties to the Dispute.

The Financial service providers (FSP) shall comply with the Award made by the OFS within 14 days from the date the complainant informs the FSP of his acceptance of the Award

If the complainant does not accept the OFS’s final decision, Parties to a Dispute are free to pursue their rights through any other means, including a legal process or arbitration.

What are the issues that Complainant can bring to the OFS?

Banking services (conventional and Islamic)

Loans (personal, housing or hire-purchase)

Bank accounts (e.g. savings, current, fixed deposit, general investment etc)

Credit, Debit and charge card

Remittance/ electronic banking

Electronic banking (Automatic teller machine and cash deposit machine)

Insurance issues

What is the monetary limit involved?

The limits vary according to the type of dispute:

(a) The monetary limit for a dispute involving financial services or products other than a dispute in (b) and (c) below is RM250, 000.00

(b) The monetary limit for a dispute on motor third party property damage insurance/ takaful claims is RM10, 000.00; and

(c) The monetary limit for a dispute on an unauthorised transaction through the use of a designated payment instrument or a payment channel such as internet banking, mobile banking, telephone banking or an unauthorised use of cheque is RM25,000-00.

Note: For cases filed before 1 October 2016 under the former Financial Mediation Bureau (FMB) the limits under the FMB scheme will apply.

What are the complaints that the OFS will not entertain?

(a) A dispute that is beyond the prescribed monetary limit under the respective categories

(b) A dispute on general pricing, product features, credit or underwriting decisions, or on applications to restructure or reschedule a loan or financing

(c) A dispute concerning the actuarial standards, tables and principles which the FSPs applies to its long-term insurance/ takaful business (including method of calculation of surrender values, paid-up policy values and the bonus rate applicable to the policy in question) for insurance or takaful claims, except guaranteed payments which are explicitly mentioned in the term and conditions of the policy

(d) A dispute relating to contracts of employment or agency matters

(e) A dispute that has been filed in court or referred to arbitration or has been decided by a court or arbitrator

(f) A dispute that is referred to the OFS after more than six months from the date the Financial Service Provider (FSP) has provided its final decision

(g) A disputes that is time barred under the Limitation Act 1953 or the Limitation Ordinances of Sabah & Sarawak

(h) A dispute that have been previously decided by the OFS (including a dispute decided under the Predecessor Scheme) unless new evidence is available.

(i) A dispute on investment performance of a financial investment product except in relation to non-disclosure of facts or misrepresentation

(j) A dispute on capital market services and products offered or marketed by FSP

(k) A dispute that involves more than one Eligible Complainant and has been referred to the OFS without the consent of the other Eligible Complainant, and the OFS is of the view that it would be inappropriate to deal with the Dispute without that consent

(l) A dispute involving claims arising from third party bodily injury or death

(m) A dispute relating to the payment of policy moneys under a life policy and personal accident policy or payment of takaful benefits under a family takaful certificate and personal accident takaful certificate made in accordance with the provisions set out in Schedule 10 of the Financial Service Act 2013 and the Islamic Financial Services Act 2013, respectively.

Is there a time frame for lodging a dispute with OFS?

Before complainants lodge any dispute with the OFS, they must first refer their disputes to the FSP concerned with a view of finding an amicable settlement. If it is not solved to their satisfaction, they can submit the case to the OFS within 6 months from the final decision by the FSP concerned. Complainants can also lodge a dispute to the OFS if they do not receive any response from the FSP concerned after 60 calendar days from the date the dispute was first referred to the FSP.

The OFS can be contacted at the following address:

Ombudsman for Financial Services

Level 14, Main Block

Menara Takaful Malaysia

No. 4, Jalan Sultan Sulaiman

50000 Kuala Lumpur

Email: enquiry@ofs.org.my

Website: http://www.ofs.org.my/en/