Keywords: ADR Directive; Banking and Financial Ombudsman; Financial Ombudsman Service; Statutory Relationship; De Facto Independence; Heather Moor & Edgecomb; Authorities; Judicial Independence.
Italian implementation of the Directive 2013/11/EU has brought renewed attention on the threats that the increasing trend to house the ADR within the Regulators, especially in the banking and financial field, could pose to the independence of the ombudsmen in deciding individual complaints. Hence, the article draws a comparison between the statutory relationships that the British Financial Ombudsman Service and the Italian Banking and Financial Ombudsmen (i.e. the ABF and the newly established ACF) share with their competent Authorities, with the aim of providing a comparative perspective on the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights. The overall underpinning objective of the study is to demonstrate the steady surfacing of a new concept of de facto independence, more effectively responsive to the redress needs of consumers.