Bi-Annual Review (July–December 2010)

Press Release - 21 April 2011

The Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO), William Prasifka, publishes his Office's Bi-Annual Review (July–December 2010) today, available online (PDF document).

The FSO investigates complaints made against Financial Institutions by Consumers.

The Review for the last 6 months of 2010 shows:

  • 3,599 complaints were received in the last 6 months of the year (compared to 3631 received in the first 6 months of the year);
  • Compensation of over €1.3million was awarded to Complainants (compared to €1.29 million in the first 6 months of the year);
  • A 40% increase in mortgage-related complaints;
  • Complaints about investment and insurance products remain at record levels;
  • 15,000 telephone call queries were received;
  • Over 37,500 website hits were recorded.

The Bi-Annual Review provides a detailed breakdown of complaints received and dealt with by the FSO. It also provides further guidance for both Consumers and Financial Institutions as to how the FSO approaches findings.

Complaints received in the first quarter of this year reveal an increase in dissatisfaction levels by Consumers with the performance of Financial Institutions. The Office received more complaints in February 2011 than in any month in 2010. Futhermore, the Office received more complaints in March 2011 than in any month since its establishment.

In publishing his Office's latest statistics the Ombudsman states that:
"The large increase in complaints in certain areas reflects the immense difficulties facing consumers and the Financial Industry as a whole. This Office continues to receive large volumes of complaints but the continued increase in mortgage and investment complaints is of concern.

The fact that over €2.6 million was awarded in compensation by the Office in 2010 shows that some Financial Institutions are still not making efforts to resolve complaints sooner. Of even greater concern is the substantial increase in the number of complaints received by the Office in 2011. This indicates that existing levels of performance throughout the industry are inadequate to address the challenges facing Financial Institutions as a result of the financial crisis. Much more needs to be done to begin to restore public confidence to the sector."

ENDS

Further information please contact Diarmuid Byrne on 086-8108007 or 01-6318561

Financial Services Ombudsman, 3rd Floor, Lincoln House, Lincoln Place, Dublin 2.