The Financial Services Ombudsman., Joe Meade, provides a statutory complaints resolution mechanism since April 2005 for complaints against financial service providers.
Today the Ombudsman published on his website www.financialombudsman.ie case studies ie.details of significant decisions he made on unresolved complaints from customers of regulated financial service providers .The decisions comprise
• Elderly Couple’s unsuitable High Risk Investment- €56,000 compensation
• Fall in investment value of 80 year old person’s joint investment-not upheld
• Inappropriate Investment Advice - €20,000 compensation
• Fee of €25,000 on transfer from fixed to variable rate of interest - not upheld
• Endowment Mortgage shortfall – not upheld
• Direct debits and technical problems in bank - €750 awarded
• ATM card withdrawals – not upheld.
• Life Assurance – Customer care issue – partly upheld and €1,000 compensation.
• Travel Insurance –replacement passport – €50 awarded
• Income Protection Policy – Policy voided for non-disclosure- not upheld
• Mortgage Protection Policy – Complaint partly upheld and Financial Regulator informed for industry wide action.
• Travel Insurance - definition of “close relative” - not upheld
• Loan Protection policy –trouble in settling case- €200 and apology
• Medical Expenses Insurance Policy – Repudiation of claim on grounds of pre-existing condition – complaint not upheld
A 19% increase in workload as 1709 complaints were received from April to September 2005. This compares to 1437 complaints received, for the same 2004 period, by the voluntary Ombudsman schemes then in existence.
Note for editors
The Financial Services Ombudsman's Bureau was established on a statutory basis and opened for business on 1st April 2005. The Financial Services Ombudsman, as an independent officer, 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) and all unincorporated bodies, including clubs, charities, trusts, partnerships etc.
The existing voluntary Ombudsman for the Credit Institutions and the Insurance Ombudsman of Ireland schemes were incorporated into the Bureau. The Bureau’s role in addition covers members of credit unions, customers of brokers, intermediaries, moneylenders and all other financial service providers. Complaints against Credit Institutions and the Insurance Sector were processed from 1 April 2005 while the following are the latest dates for dealing with other complaints
Credit Unions 1 August 2005
Mortgage and Insurance brokers 1 October 2005
Moneylenders 1 November 2005
All others 1 December 2005
Further information available from Diarmuid Byrne
Financial Services Ombudsman's Bureau
32 Upper Merrion Street
Lo call 1890 88 20 90
Email address mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org
Website address www.financialombudsman.ie