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Consumer Complaint Mediation

The Financial Disputes Settlement Committee (FDSC) is a committee that has been created within the FSS specifically to help mediate and resolve financial disputes between consumers and financial service firms. Upon a consumer petition or in response to a consumer complaint, the FSS verifies the relevant facts and makes impartial recommendations so that both the consumer and the financial institution can mutually come to a resolution with resorting to often time-consuming and costly litigation through the court.

The FDSC is staffed by 30 specialists that include independent outside experts. Each FDSC mediation meeting is attended by seven to eleven members who are selected by the FDSC chairperson on the basis of the specific areas of consumer complaints, which may vary from banking, nonbanking, and financial investments to insurance.

Consumer complaint is referred to the FDSC when the parties involved are unable to reach an agreement within 30 days from the day the request for mediation was submitted. The FDSC then deliberates on the case and proposes a resolution within 60 days with due consideration given to the applicable rules and regulations and information provide by both parties. The FDSC may dismiss a complaint if it does not merit a mediated resolution from the FDSC or if the facts and information provided by the parties involved cannot be substantiated. The FSDC decides on a resolution proposal with the majority vote. Once an FDSC resolution proposal is accepted by the parties involved, no further recourse is available.

Unlike arbitration, the FDSC recommendation is not legally binding, and adjudication through the court is still available to consumers and financial institutions. The FSS may provide litigation support to a consumer if the FSS deems the action of a financial institution improper.