Forthcoming: Consumer Financial Dispute Resolution in a Comparative Context

A new book to be published by Cambridge University Press, entitled “Consumer Financial Dispute Resolution in a Comparative Context,” will be released in May of 2013.  The book, written by Shahla Alibookcover of the University of Hong Kong, explores how systems of financial dispute resolution aim to assist parties to resolve a growing number of monetary disputes with financial institutions. The book presents comparative research about the development and design of these mechanisms in East Asia, North America and Europe. Using a comparative methodology and drawing on empirical findings from a multi-jurisdictional survey, Shahla Ali examines the emergence of global principles that influence the design of financial dispute resolution models, considers the structural variations between the ombuds and arbitration systems and offers practical proposals for reform.

Some early reviews of the book are included below:

‘This book provides a wide-ranging comparative assessment that will be of great value to anyone analyzing or designing dispute resolution systems for consumer disputes. The detailed descriptions of arbitration and ombudsman mechanisms in six countries, as well as Dr Ali’s recommendations, illuminate the continuing evolution of global norms for dispute resolution.’ Stephanie E. Smith, Lecturer, Stanford Law School

‘This is a valuable primer to the growing universe of consumer financial arbitration, particularly with its emphasis on countries in the Asia Pacific region.’ Michael Hwang, Michael Hwang Chambers, Singapore

‘This comprehensive volume breaks new ground in surveying and comparing multiple dispute resolution systems across world regions against a backdrop of carefully outlined principles including fairness, impartiality, transparency and consistency. Well-written, thoughtful and empirically supported, it is a ‘must-read’ for scholars, practitioners and end-users of commercial dispute resolution. It also productively outlines a way forward for practice in this area informed by best practices from a range of contexts.’ Michelle LeBaron, University of British Columbia

‘Anyone interested in the intersection of consumers, monetary disputes with financial institutions, and turbulent financial markets must read this book. It provides an articulate and thoughtful comparison of processes, from mediation and conciliation to ombudsmen, arbitration and litigation, taking us around the world to the UK, Australia, Japan, the US, China, Singapore and Hong Kong to look at differing systems of dispute resolution.’ Lela P. Love, Director, Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution and the Cardozo Mediation Clinic, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, New York

Survey on Financial ADR

Hello readers!  What are your views on financial ADR?  This would include the use of mediation, arbitration or ombudsman services to resolve complaints regarding financial services and products.  Your thoughts, whether as a practitioner or user, would be most appreciated.  Please take a few minutes to fill out this anonymous on-line survey.

Thank you.

Financial Dispute Resolution Center in Asia – 2012

The government of Hong Kong will establish a Financial Dispute Resolution Center by mid 2012.  This announcement was made by Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Professor KC Chan in early December 2010.   “The Financial Dispute Resolution Centre is responsible for managing an independent and impartial dispute resolution scheme by way of ‘mediation first, arbitration next’. It offers a speedy and affordable way to handle monetary disputes between consumers and financial institutions. If disputes cannot be resolved through mediation, claimants can choose to bring their cases to arbitration,” Chan said.

The Center will not only provide resolution services between consumers and financial institutions, but will focus on prevention of financial disputes through investor education.  The aim of this educational initiative will be to develop financial literacy among the general public.  “It will raise people’s awareness of their rights and responsibilities and generic knowledge of financial products, and will also help enhance their abilities in managing finance, helping them make better financial decisions” Chan explained.

Prior to the decision to launch the Center, the  bureau consulted with industry groups and consumers and received over 115 public comments.

(This research has been supported by the Research Grants Council Public Policy Research Grant number HKU7001-PPR-10)