FSO Role Independent adjudication on unresolved disputes between Complainants and Financial Service Providers thereby enhancing the financial services environment for all sectors.
Power of the FSO Investigate /Adjudicate complaints Award compensation up to €250k Direct Rectification Findings - legally binding, appealable only to the High Court Accessible & Free Service to the Consumer
Courts hold FSO to High Procedural Standard Substantial experience before the Courts Full exchange of submissions & opportunity of parties to respond Procedures / investigation must reflect the remedy directed Request for discovery and jurisdiction must be fully considered
Standard of Adjudication “The FSO... is required to act in an informal manner and according to equity, good conscience and the substantial merits of the complaint without regard to technicality or legal form.” Therefore, FSO guided, not bound by regulatory codes & law
‘Lyons & Murray’ Case High Court Judgment – 14 December 2011 “…a material disputed question of fact could only be resolved by an Oral Hearing…’ – Paragraph 29 “Once [FSO] proceeds to adjudication, a legal Rubicon is … crossed. As agent of the State, [FSO] is thereby bound to uphold the constitutional right to fair procedures…This has further consequences, for…the resolution of the question of whether there should be an oral hearing is not a matter which goes directly to the specialist expertise of the [FSO] so that the deference to that expertise as enunciated by Finnegan P. [Ulster Bank Case] is simply not applicable in this case” – Paragraph 38 Supreme Court Appeal Consequences?
Overall Complaints 3,795 4,374 5,974 7,619 7,230 7,287 The New Climate
Complaints 2011 Insurance Sector - 50% of all complaints In Banking – mortgage complaints make up 40% and banking accounts 28% of total banking complaints Investment complaints up 6% on last 2 quarters
Current Trends – 2011 Payment and Mortgage Protection Insurance – 18% of insurance complaints, 8% of all Complaints PPI - 405 cases received in 2011 50% of PPI - related to mis-selling Mortgage Protection - 199 cases received - 53 mis-selling
Long-Stated Aim: Amendment to Legislation Problem: FSP Management of Claims / Recurring issues Solution: Publication of Claims Record of FSPs Consultation Process re Legislation Recent cross-party agreement to change FSO Legislation
Examples of Other Jurisdictions -League tables -Context of Market Share -No. of complaints per 100,000 products -Balanced Publication -Public Interest Justification
Recent Trends 2011 – New Complaints levelling off Still at record levels Small decrease in complaints upheld Some Institutions are engaging with FSO and Consumers in resolving complaints sooner Needs to continue and happen across industry
The Way Forward FSPs must actively manage complaints Earlier intervention, before complaint elevation Industry must internalise our methodologies FSO meets FSPs individually Amend Legislation! - Publish FSPs Complaints Records
Stakeholder Engagement FSPs must actively manage complaints Earlier intervention, before complaint elevation Industry must internalise our methodologies Refer to FSO’s published Data / Guidelines More settlements Review processes to reduce complaint numbers