Bi-Annual Review (Jul-Dec 2011)

Press Release - 16 February 2012

The Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO), William Prasifka, publishes his Office’s Bi-Annual Review (July to December 2011) on 16 February (PDF document).

The Review shows that:

  • Almost 7,300 complaints against Financial Institutions were received in 2011, with 3,500 new complaints received in the last 6 months of 2011
  • €1million in compensation was awarded to consumers as a result of the Findings of the FSO
  • The percentage of cases upheld has decreased slightly (by 3%)
  • The nature and level of complaints reflects the continued pressure being experienced by consumers
  • Over 40% of complaints against Banks related to mortgages
  • The Insurance sector continues to generate the most complaints, 47% of total complaints received in the last 6 months of 2011
  • 18% of complaints in the Insurance sector related to Payment Protection and Mortgage Protection policies
  • Complaints about investment products have increased, 6% increase in the last 6 months of 2011
  • The Bureau has increased the number of Findings issued by 11%, further reducing the backlog of cases and waiting times for complaint adjudication
  • The Bureau received 18,000 telephone queries during July – December 2011 and 39,000 website hits

In publishing the Review, Mr Prasifka states:

'After a number of years of record increases, 2011 showed a levelling off of new complaints but they still remain extremely high, showing the continued pressures faced by Consumers particularly in mortgage and related insurance areas.

A decrease in the complaints upheld occurred towards the end of 2011. This reflects well on some Financial Institutions and, I would hope, shows an effort by industry to internalise the FSO's Findings and guidelines.

It has been the FSO's long-stated position to encourage Financial Institutions to actively engage with Consumers when a complaint is raised and try to resolve matters as soon as possible. Recent trends indicate that some Institutions are taking on board the FSO's Findings and guidelines.

However, the industry must continue to change is practices in dealing with consumers and make genuine efforts to work with Consumers before complaints are referred to the FSO. It is very clear that such engagement is to all parties' benefit.'

Further information please contact Conor Cashman (01–631 8575)

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

Tel: 01 - 6620899