The Financial Services Ombudsman, Joe Meade, provides a statutory complaints resolution mechanism since April 2005 for complaints against financial service providers. Some complaints are resolved where small compensation amounts are awarded by the Ombudsman or not upheld. However other complaints result in significant compensation awards.
Today the Ombudsman’s website http://www.financialombudsman.ie/case-studies/ has been updated with significant decisions he made in the July/December 2006 period.
These decisions comprise
• Error by insurance broker results in €140,000 death benefit settlement
• Only Courts can determine whether an illegal act has occurred- insurance death benefit of €90,000 paid
• Stockbroker’s mismanaging of a portfolio results in €40,000 compensation
• Inappropriate derivative investment advice to an elderly person -€38,500 compensation
• Credit Union did not respect elderly person’s instructions -€24,000 awarded
• Conflict of interest by mortgage broker in sale of investment property-€16,500 awarded
• Cancellation of mortgage protection policy- extra €4,000 awarded
• Delay in review of insurance bond results in €3,000 compensation
• Entry on Irish Credit Bureau- compensation of €3,000
• Elderly person’s bank account cleared out by ATM card - €1,500 compensation ; improvements sought in ATM security / account monitoring
• Terminal bonus on Endowment Mortgage-not upheld
• Medical treatment abroad-prior approval needed-not upheld
• Lapsing a life insurance policy and a new declaration of health –not upheld
• No return on tracker bond investment- not upheld
Some 3800 complaints- 2229 insurance and 1566 credit institutions -were received by the Ombudsman during 2006, a 14% increase over 2005.
Note for editors
The Financial Services Ombudsman was established on a statutory basis on 1st April 2005. As an independent officer, he ensures that unresolved complaints from customers of all regulated financial service providers are investigated, mediated and adjudicated fairly. The Ombudsman is empowered to make awards up to €250,000 and awards are binding on both parties subject to appeal to the High Court. Eligible consumers include all natural persons, limited companies with a turnover of €3million or less (SMEs), unincorporated bodies, including clubs, charities, trusts, partnerships etc.
Further information available from Gemma Normile (6318569) or Diarmuid Byrne (6318561)