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Do I need to join a dispute resolution scheme?

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The main purpose of dispute resolution schemes is to provide consumers access to redress, and promote confidence in financial service providers.

FSPs who offer to provide a financial service to retail clients must join a dispute resolution scheme within ten working days of their FSP registration being confirmed, except some financial advisers who will be covered by their employer’s scheme membership.

Membership for the purposes of the FSPA means the FSP may be the subject of a complaint to the scheme.

You will need to pay the membership fees directly to your dispute resolution scheme.

The scheme you join will depend on what type of FSP you are and what types the approved schemes will accept as members.


Those exempt from the need to join a consumer dispute resolution scheme

Not every FSP has to join a dispute resolution scheme in order to the registered on the FSPR.


Section 48(3) of the FSPA removes the obligation to join a consumer dispute resolution scheme for companies who are only providing a financial service because they are participating in the offer of investments to the public (issuers and promoters) but the offer of securities is not the company’s only or principal business.

Low value non-cash payment facilities

Regulation 15 of the Financial Service Providers (Exemptions) Regulations also provides that a financial service provider will not have to join a dispute scheme in respect of any financial service (set out in section 5 of the FSPA) – other than the provision of credit – provided in the course of providing a low-value cash payment facility to users (with a maximum cap of $1,000 for individuals or $15,000 for others). 


Related links

On this website:

Dispute Resolution Schemes

On other websites:

Consumer Protection website - Information on Dispute Resolution


Last updated 3 December 2015