Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Questions (210)

Jerry Buttimer

Question:

210. Deputy Jerry Buttimer asked the Minister for Finance the reason the Financial Services Ombudsman was not in a position to investigate the case referred to him by a person (details supplied) in County Cork in view of the difficulty that had not arisen until the maturity date of the policy and that it was only at the date of maturity that the difficulty became known to the policy holder; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [9941/13]

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Written answers (Question to Finance)

Firstly, I must point out that the Financial Services Ombudsman is independent in the performance of his statutory functions and it would not be appropriate for me to comment on his work.

The Financial Services Ombudsman Bureau was established under the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004. This legislation provides the Financial Services Ombudsman with various powers in order to determine jurisdiction on a complaint. Included in this is a statutory timeframe, Section 57BX (3)(b) provides:-

"A consumer is not entitled to make a complaint if the conduct complained of - occurred more than 6 years before the complaint is made."

The legislation prohibits the Financial Services Ombudsman from examining any aspect of a complaint where the conduct being complained of occurred more than 6 years from receipt of the Complaint in his Office. If the conduct being complained of occurred 6 years before the complaint is submitted to the Financial Services Ombudsman, the Ombudsman has no discretion in examining such a case.