Sunday 4 December 2016

Finance firms hit with fines of €1.1m by Ombudsman

Published 01/04/2016 | 02:30

Ger Deering, the Financial Services Ombudsman. Photo: Patrick Browne
Ger Deering, the Financial Services Ombudsman. Photo: Patrick Browne

Compensation totalling €1.1m was paid out last year to consumers who took complaints against banks and other financial services providers.

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Banks accounted for more than three quarters of all complaints to the Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO) in 2015, including issues linked to mortgages which made-up half of all problems investigated.

Danske Bank had more complaints against it substantiated following a complaint - at 13.

That was just ahead of Ulster Bank. Bigger lenders AIB (7) and Bank of Ireland (9) had fewer findings made against them.

In all the FSO handled 4,872 complaints in 2015. Mortgages (50pc), bank accounts (26pc) and motor insurance (20pc) were by far the biggest sources of problems raised.

Almost three-quarters of complaints made to the service were not upheld, although the 35pc of cases where the Service upheld a complaint, either fully or in part, is up substantially on recent years.

Financial Ombudsman Ger Deering's agency undertook a Strategic and Operational Review last year, carried out by independent consultants BearingPoint.

On foot of that the office said it now undertakes more direct interaction with both complainants and providers from the outset when a complain is made, in order to deliver a faster, more efficient and effective service.

A key change was the introduction of a dedicated Dispute Resolution Service to mediate disputes at an early stage and with minimal formality, the FSO said.

Irish Independent

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