Bi-Annual Review (Jan-Jun 2011)

Media Release 12 October 2011
(Embargoed until 9.30 pm)

The Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO), William Prasifka, publishes his Office’s Bi-Annual Review (for January to June 2011) on 13 October (PDF document).

The FSO also publishes responses received from Financial Institutions and interested parties about the FSO’s proposals to disclose the complaints record of individual Financial Institutions - http://www.financialombudsman.ie/news-updates/.

The Review for the first 6 months of 2011 shows:

  • 3,780 complaints were received in the first 6 months of the year, a 5% increase on the second half of 2010.
  • There has been an increase in the percentage of complaints Upheld / Partly Upheld, with this increasing from 24% to 29%.
  • Compensation of over €1.3 million was awarded to Complainants.
  • The Bureau has increased the number of Findings issued by 38%.
  • In the last 6 months there has been an increase in the percentage of complaints Upheld / Partly Upheld in the Insurance (from 19% to 24%), Banking (from 26% to 33%) and Investment (from 26% to 34%) sectors.
  • Mortgage Protection complaints increased by 53%.
  • There has been a 59% increase in complaints about Medical Health Providers.
  • Banking complaints increased by 14% in the first half of 2011 with a large increase (50%) in mortgage related complaints.

In publishing the Review, Mr Prasifka states:

The recent complaints record of financial institutions is disappointing. It indicates to me that the industry has not adjusted its practices to the challenges it must confront in dealing with the consequences of the financial crisis. Trends show an increase in the number of complaints being made by consumers and an increase in the percentage of complaints being upheld by the FSO.

It is not in the consumers’ or financial institutions’ interests for these trends to continue. Financial institutions must do more to engage with consumers and resolve complaints sooner. In addition, financial institutions can do more to inform consumers of the consequences of their financial decisions and this should in turn reduce the number of complaints.

In reviewing the complaints record of the industry, I am struck by the very different record of some of our regulated financial institutions. Some institutions have relatively few of the complaints made against them upheld. Other institutions have complaints made against them upheld by a percentage far in excess of their industry peers. The FSO’s Review further underlines the need and justification for publishing information about the complaints record of individual Financial Institutions.’

Further information please contact Conor Cashman (01–6318575)

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

Tel: 01 - 6620899

Email: media@financialombudsman.ie ENDS