OBSI resolves disputes between participating banking services and investment firms and their customers if they can't solve them on their own. We are independent and impartial, and our services are free to consumers. You must first complain to the firm involved, but if you remain unsatisfied you have a right to bring your case to us. As an alternative to the legal system, we work informally and confidentially to find a fair outcome.
If we decide that a firm has acted unfairly, made an error or given you bad advice, and you lost money as a result, we will recommend that the firm restore your financial position to where it should have been. We may also recommend other types of non-financial compensation when appropriate. If we think you have been treated fairly, or the offer you have previously received from the firm is fair, we will let you know. While we cannot order a firm to follow a recommendation, we have an excellent record of firms – and clients – accepting our suggested resolution. We will make public the name of any firm that refuses a recommendation.
The limit for our recommendations is $350,000, but many of our cases are for much smaller amounts. However, if your claim is for an amount higher than $350,000 you can voluntarily reduce it.
OBSI is not a regulator, and because we are impartial we don't advocate for consumers or the industry. That also means we don't give advice – financial or otherwise. If you don't like our findings in your case, you are still able to go to a lawyer or seek other ways of resolving your dispute.