As with the courts, consumers generally need to bring a complaint to the ombudsman within certain time limits.
But unlike the courts, there's no 'long-stop' for our service - so even if a problem happened more than 15 years ago, a consumer might still be able to bring a complaint about that problem to us.
The reason is that financial products often last a very long time - like mortgages or whole-of-life policies. A problem relating to that product might only become apparent years later - and the consumer might not have had any reason to realise something had gone wrong sooner.
Generally, we can investigate a complaint within three years of a consumer realising there's a problem.