Douglas Melville has been appointed as Principal Ombudsman and Chief Executive by the independent board of the new Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman. He takes up his new role on 1 June 2015 and with his wife and children, will be setting-up home in Jersey.

The Financial Ombudsman will resolve complaints by consumers and small businesses against financial firms, as an informal alternative to the courts. The service will be free for consumers and small businesses, with the costs recovered by law from financial firms.

Douglas Melville is currently the Ombudsman and Chief Executive at the Canadian Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments. He is also chairman of the worldwide n Network of Financial Ombudsmen and has advised internationally on financial consumer protection for the World Bank and other public bodies.

He qualified as a lawyer, becoming an ombudsman in 2006. Before that, he held senior roles in banking, investment and insurance. He has also been a board member of various not-for-profit organisations covering healthcare, the environment, anti-poverty policy, financial literacy, international development and performing arts.

David Thomas, chairman of the Board of the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman said, “The Board is very pleased that we have been able to recruit such an experienced and well-regarded financial ombudsman. He will fulfil a key role in helping to underpin consumer confidence in financial services in Jersey and Guernsey, enhancing the reputation of the finance sectors both locally and internationally.”

Douglas Melville said, “I am looking forward to working with the board in completing the establishment of the Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman. Later in the year, we will announce the opening date, once the rest of the staff and the necessary systems are in place.”