“Money makes the world go round”, a quotation from the musical Cabaret, is a saying with which most of us are familiar. It is not literally true, of course, but does point to our heavy reliance on money and financial services.
While there may be very little that you can personally do about it, remember for a moment the unacceptably large percentage of our population who are not included in our economy, to whom providers of financial services would be a meaningless term.
This chapter is a look at some institutions behind the provision of financial services in the country.
Consumer recourse: who can help you?
- The Ombudsman for Short-Term Insurance is an independent body and the services are provided free to the public. The ombudsman may be able to assist you if your insurer refuses to pay e.g. for damage to your vehicle. The service is free to insured consumers. You must complain to the insurance company first, and only if you are unable to resolve the dispute with your insurers, then you can refer the matter to their offices. The Ombudsman’s decisions are binding on the insurance company, but not on you. Visit www.osti.co.za.
- The Ombudsman for long-term insurance mediates in disputes between insurers and policy holders (life assurance). See www.ombud.co.za.
- The Ombudsman for Banking Services www.obssa.co.za
- Credit OMBUD www.creditombud.org.za
- For investment problems, talk to the Financial Services Board (FSB). Their website is www.fsb.co.za.
- The FAIS Ombud deals with “complaints against financial institutions, which do not fall within the jurisdiction of any other ombud scheme or where there is uncertainty over jurisdiction”. Visit www.faisombud.co.za.
- National Consumer Commission www.thencc.gov.za
- For debt counselling problems, but also for disputes that are not resolved by the Credit Ombudsman, speak to the National Credit Regulator (NCR). NB Only credit grantors that are registered with the NCR may grant credit. Visit www.ncr.org.za.
- The Fiduciary Institute of South Africa (FISA) is a self-regulating body for matters such as wills, trusts, estate planning. See http://fidsa.org.za.
- If there is something bothering you about your medical scheme … the Registrar for Medical Schemes is the one. Visit www.medicalschemes.com.
- Pension Funds Adjudicator www.pfa.org.za
Other financial bodies and associations
- Actuarial Society of South Africa www.actuarialsociety.org.za
- Alternative Investment Management Association (AIMA) www.aima.org
- Association of Black Securities and Investment Professionals (ABSIP) www.absip.co.za
- Association for Savings & Investment SA (ASISA) www.asisa.org.za
- Banking Association of South Africa www.banking.org.za
- Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA) www.fia.org.za
- Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI) www.fpi.co.za
- Financial Charter Sector Council www.fscharter.co.za
- Institute of Bankers in South Africa (IOBSA) www.iob.co.za
- Institute of Retirement Funds of South Africa (IRF) www.irf.org.za
- South African Insurance Association (SAIA) www.saia.co.za
- South African Savings Institute (SASI) www.savingsinstitute.co.za
- South African Underwriting Managers Association http://sauma.org
Southern African Venture Capital and Private Equity Association (SAVCA) - Wondering where to find capital to expand your business? SAVCA provides a comprehensive and well-structured directory which lists the details and investing preferences of all members and associated members of the association. Find details at www.savca.co.za.
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