Couple settles action against watchdog
A COUPLE has settled a High Court action over the handling of a complaint about a €2.5m investment product sold to them by a financial institution.
William Sexton (62) and his partner Mary McHugh (62), of Cornelscourt, Newbridge, Co Kildare, brought proceedings against the Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO) regarding its rejection of their complaint about the manner in which a Protected Portfolio Investment Bond had been sold to them by First Active PLC, now Ulster Bank.
The court heard that the couple decided to invest €2.5m with First Active. While they did not lose anything on this investment, they also did not make any money.
In their complaint to the FSO in 2008, the couple claimed they had made it clear to First Active that they did not want to invest in a tracker bond. They also wanted to invest for a period of five years only -- but this became five years and 11 months. Mr Sexton and Ms McHugh claimed that their wishes were not adhered to by First Active.
In February 2010, the FSO found no evidence that First Active were informed by the couple that they wished to avoid investing in a tracker bond. The FSO and First Active denied any wrongdoing and rejected the couple's claims.