Tuesday 21 November 2017

Bank complaints rocketing

Roisin Burke

Complaints against banks have shot up by record numbers, especially on mis-selling, the Financial Services Ombudsman says.

"The main spike is in complaints about investment-products selling," said Bill Prasifka.

Numbers jumped over 21 per cent, from 6,000 up to 7,619 year-on-year, the watchdog found.

Mr Prasifka wants to see banks named and shamed where he has major findings against them.

"We should be in a position to name institutions when a major adverse finding has been made," he argues. "It does undermine our ability to carry out our function."

At the moment, only an offender who doesn't co-operate can be named, or one involved in a systemic or very serious issue.

"There's no express position under the current legislation to name them," Mr Prasifka said.

However, Britain's watchdog changed its rules and started publishing names last year, without legislative changes.

Mr Prasifka's predecessor, Joe Meade, was opposed to naming offending banks, but had a change of heart in July last year. He formally asked the Department of Finance for the power to name institutions in July 2009.

The department says it consulted with the Attorney General's office and sought legal advice on developing a proposal on the matter for Finance Minister Brian Lenihan.

Sunday Independent

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