Citizens Advice Bureau Jersey

Our advice is available in the following ways:


Banking in Jersey ( 13.10.10. )


Banking in Jersey

Extent:       Jersey
Updated:   January 2019


Words you may need to know

Complaints /Complainant - the act of telling someone that you are not happy about a situation / someone who is not happy and complains

Financial services - relating to or involving money or finance

Annual levies - yearly fees

Consumers - a buyer of goods and / or services

Definition - what a word means

Resolve  - find a solution to a problem

Partially - in part but not completely

Honour it - respect it , stick to it

Persuade, convince, win over

Overdraft facility - an amount the bank has said you can spend beyond what is in the account

Required - have to do something

Community Savings Bank - a charitable savings organisation that gives debt advice/ small loans and helps savers

Deposit - put in


Complaints about banking, lending, money services, insurance, pensions and some types of investments in Jersey and Guernsey

Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO)
The Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman (CIFO) is a joint operation which has a shared office in Jersey, with the same board, ombudsman and staff. It covers financial services provided in/from Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney and Sark.

How is CIFO paid for?
The cost of CIFO is met by the finance industry, through annual levies and case fees.

If you have a complaint against a financial services provider
You should first take up the complaint with the financial services provider concerned, they have up to 3 months to give you a final response. If you are not happy with the financial services provider’s reply or have not received one after 3 months, you  can pass on the complaint to CIFO.

Who is able to complain to CIFO?
Broadly, CIFO is able to look at complaints from single  consumers and small businesses/ Micro - enterprises whether or not they are in the Channel Islands – plus small Channel Islands charities.

What is a micro-enterprise?
It is a Europe-wide definition for a small business or economic enterprise (including a sole trader, partnership or company) that employs fewer than 10 people and does not have a yearly turnover or balance sheet of more than 2 million Euro.

Which financial services providers can you complain about?
Broadly, financial services providers involved in banking, lending, money services, insurance, pensions and  some investments – but not all investment funds.that are not recognized funds . See website for further details. If the financial services were provided from outside the Channel Islands then you should contact the Ombudsman for that jurisdiction e.g. Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS) UK, Office of the Ombudsman, Dublin, Ireland.

How far back can CIFO go?
The event that gave rise to the complaint must have happened on or after 1 January 2010 (if the financial services were provided from Jersey) or 2 July 2013 (if the financial services were provided from Guernsey/Alderney/Sark).

Are there other time limits?
You should bring your complaint to CIFO within 6 months of your Financial Service Provider’s final response to your complaint.  CIFO may not be able to help if what you are complaining about happened more than 6 years ago and your complaint is more than 2 years after your realise (or could have realised) there is a problem.

Handling enquiries
CIFO handles enquiries from complainants and financial services providers, to help them resolve issues between themselves, and to try and resolve cases based on misunderstandings. Experience elsewhere shows that only approximately one in four to eight enquiries,  turns into a complaint to the Ombudsman.

Handling complaint CIFO will first check that it is able to look at your complaint, then try to resolve the case by mediation – helping the parties to reach a fair settlement. If mediation does not work, CIFO will investigate the case and issue a decision.  To refer your complaint to CIFO fill out a complaint form online or send one by post fax or email, or you can contact the office for  assistance.

What will be the effect of an ombudsman’s decision?
If the complainant accepts the decision, it will become legally binding on both parties. The ombudsman can award compensation, payable by the financial services provider, up to a maximum limit of £150,000.

There are boundaries with other financial ombudsmen and it all depends on where the service was provided:

  • in/from the Channel Islands = Channel Islands Financial Ombudsman
  • in/from the United Kingdom = Financial Ombudsman Service (1)
  • in/from Ireland = Irish Financial Services Ombudsman’s Bureau (2)
  • in/from the Isle of Man = Financial Services Ombudsman Scheme (3)


Problems arising in the UK can be directed to the Financial Ombudsman Service.
Address: South Quay Plaza
183 Marsh Wall
E14 9SR

Telephone: 0845 080 1800
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Website: k

Jersey Financial Services Commission

The Financial Services Commission in Jersey looks after and regulates the Island's finance industry. It's a self-financing corporate body which gets  income from registration and other fees for licences under laws relating to business and finance.

 Assistance for the visually impaired

Most banks now offer large print statements but Braille statements, cheque book templates and other services are available.

Bounced cheques

Giving someone a bounced cheque is a form of theft if the person giving it, the issuer (drawer) knows that the money is not available in their bank account, and the person who is given the cheque (the payee ) may think about reporting the matter to the police. However, if the payee just wants to get the money back as fast as possible, they can apply for an Ordre Provisoire from the Bailiff (if the cheque is worth £10,000 or more) or from the Petty Debts Court Magistrate (if worth less than £10,000).

Full details of this process can be found at 4.32.0.L10.

Stopped cheques

There are some cases when it is acceptable to stop a cheque that you have given, including situations where goods have not been supplied as agreed before a cheque that has been paid is due to be cleared, or where a service you have asked for has not been supplied, but a cheque already paid.

If a service or goods have been partly given, then strictly speaking the buyer of the service or goods should not cancel the cheque, but honour it and then sue in the court for the cost of the item(s) or services not supplied. If the cheque is stopped and the supplier of the goods/services sues the buyer, then it may be possible for the buyer to persuade the Court to allow him to enter what is called a 'pro tanto' defence and counter claim, allowing them to only pay a part of the amount of the cheque fitting to the service/goods supplied.

Post-dated cheques

Nobody has to take a post-dated cheque as, by law, a post-dated cheque does not count as payment of a debt, however, writing a post-dated cheque is not banned under banking terms.

If a bank puts through a post-dated cheque before the date on it and then makes its customer overdrawn, the charges will normally be paid back, depending on the bank's policy. Lloyds Bank International have a policy of not refunding charges incurred by a customer issuing a post dated cheque which it has processed too early. It is the bank's responsibility to check the date on a cheque. Credit Card companies will usually accept post-dated cheques, but a note should be given with the cheque pointing out the date for cashing. Some banks charge a fee for the use of a post-dated cheque to pay credit card bills.

By law, banks should always refund charges to their clients for failing to carry out their customer's instructions. A claim by a bank that post-dated cheques are not allowed, and/or that the bank has no responsibility for cheques being cleared early, should be challenged.

Cheques as evidence of payment

The Cheques (Jersey) Law, 1957 Article 3 states that 'an unendorsed cheque which appears to have been paid by the banker on whom it is drawn is evidence of the receipt by the payee of the sum payable by the cheque'. This means that the money from a cheque coming out of a bank account is evidence of receipt of payment. Some businesses will refuse to give a receipt for a cheque on the grounds that there is no need to do so under the Cheques (Jersey) Law.

Overpayments to a bank account

If money is put into (credited ) your account by mistake, the bank is usually entitled to take it back within a reasonable time. If you do not realise that the mistake has been made and have used the money in a way you would normally (that is, has acted in good faith), the bank may not be able to claim the money back. This can be a difficult area of the law however, and you need to get advice from a solicitor about your case.

If the bank does have the right to recover the money, you should negotiate for small repayments over a period of time. You should not pay any interest. If you cannot agree the matter with your bankyou can refer your complaint to CIFO. In practice, banks normally agree to both staged payments and no interest.

Access to 'basic' bank account

The following banks offer a 'basic' bank account with no overdraft facility or cheque book.

Barclays Bank - Barclays Cash Card Account
HSBC - Basic Bank Account also HSBC Passport Account designed for anyone new to the UK
Lloyds Bank International - Cash Account

Almost everybody should be able to open a basic bank account. The bank may carry out a credit check to see if you have any outstanding judgements or have been made bankrupt. Anyone who has a record of fraud will be turned down.

Citizens Advice Jersey have a leaflet on Basic Bank Accounts produced by the Money Advice Service.

The pdf is on the Money Advice Service website at

Difficulties in opening a bank account due to lack of identification e.g.: passport or driving licence

Banks are required by the Jersey Financial Services Commission to operate very strict Know Your Customer account opening procedures. These are linked to International agreements. However, situations do arise from time to time where a local person does for very good reasons not possess either a current passport or a driving licence.

If you are in that position and experiencing difficulty in opening an account, then you should insist on speaking to someone from the bank's 'Compliance Department'.

Banks do have arrangements in place to waive their requirements in special situations of this type. Normally a senior member of management can open the account using other means of identification, eg Social Security details or utility bill, and authorised at the bank.

If all else fails, Citizens Advice staff can telephone the Financial Services Commission on 822040 for assistance in resolving the problem.

Community Savings Limited

Community Savings Limited helps Jersey residents who are financially or socially disadvantaged. It operates in a similar way to a credit union.  Anyone living in Jersey can join the 'Jersey' common interest group. Members can deposit money either weekly or monthly. Members can make withdrawals from their accounts at the offices of the company or by using a pre-paid debit card facility that is available to members.

For more information see:

 and 13.10.13.L1


 [C1]N. B. CIFO resolves complaints about a broad range of financial services, (not just banking) so relevant to include if there are other pages on insurance, lending, money services, pensions and some types of investments.