The Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman (OFSO) finally has a home in Tobago.
Opening the office on Friday at the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine said the building is undergoing some changes – construction shifts and redesigning.
“We are adamant that our services must become much more expansive than what we have at present. We are extremely happy to have in our building and resident in Tobago in a permanent way the Office of the Financial Services Ombudsman."
Augustine said in 2009 the THA and Central Bank signed an agreement for the Financial Services Ombudsman to hold "external office days" every Wednesday at the office of the Financial Literacy Secretariat at the THA Division of Finance. But he said when the division was relocated to the Victor E Bruce Financial Complex, the Financial Services Ombudsman's services were discontinued.
But the office later rented space at the CariBana building in Bacolet, from May 2014-February 2016.
He thanked the OFSO for staying true to Tobago and its people.
“They could have said, subsequent to 2016: 'Listen, this Tobago thing not working out, let us not bother with it,' but they were insistent.
"We are extremely happy for your persistence, that says that you want to do business in Tobago, you want to provide the service to the people of Tobago and the people of Tobago warmly welcome you.”
Ombudsman Dominic Stoddard described the commissioning as “a momentous occasion.
“This is truly a significant event made possible by the tireless efforts of a number of committed people. We are elated to find ourselves housed in this iconic building, which is ideally located for the convenience of the public."
He said the significance of the office's presence there could not be overstated.
“It serves as a signal of our commitment to transparency, fairness and accessibility in addressing financial disputes and grievances.”
Central Bank Governor Dr Alvin Hillaire and Bankers Association president Gayle Pazos were also at the commissioning.