Bi-Annual Review (January to June 2012)

Press Release – September 2012

The Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO) William Prasifka publishes his Office’s Bi-Annual Review (January to June 2012) on 13 September, available online (PDF document).

The Review shows that:

  • 3,700 complaints against Financial Institutions were received in first half of 2012, a 5% increase on the last 6 months of 2011
  • Trends show an increase in complaints received and an increase in complaints upheld
  • 40% of complaints against Banks relate to Mortgages, with ‘tracker’ rate issues, maladministration and repayments terms the main areas of complaint
  • Insurance complaints increased by 15%
  • Complaints about Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) doubled, from 218 to 410
  • 74% of PPI complaints are about alleged mis-sale of the product
  • The Bureau has increased the number of Findings issued by 12%, reducing waiting times for complaint adjudication
  • 25% of complaints received were settled by Financial Institutions
  • The Bureau received 11,300 telephone queries during January to June 2012 and 39,000 website hits

In publishing the Review, Mr Prasifka states:

‘The level of complaints received and the outcome of Findings are of serious concern. Trends indicate deterioration in complaint handling by Financial Institutions and increased dissatisfaction by consumers across a number of areas.

The FSO always encourages Institutions to engage with Consumers to resolve complaints as soon as possible. While 25% of complaints were settled by Institutions, the increase in complaints received and complaints upheld by the FSO shows that Institutions are still not doing enough to engage with consumers at an earlier stage.

The alleged mis-selling of PPI products has resulted in a doubling of PPI complaints in 6 months and trends suggest this increase will continue.

Other recent, well-publicised problems in certain Financial Institutions will test Institutions’ willingness to address failings at an early stage and show whether or not Institutions are genuinely committed to resolving complaints before referral to the FSO.’

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 Email: media@financialombudsman.ie

ENDS