Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Questions (140)

Michael McGrath


140. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Finance if he will address an issue raised in correspondence in respect of a person (details supplied) in Dublin 14; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [22957/14]

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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. The Financial Services Ombudsman s Bureau was established under the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act, 2004. The legislation provides for an independent, impartial investigation and resolution of disputes between consumers and financial service providers. The Financial Services Ombudsman was set up to adjudicate on unresolved disputes between complainants and financial service providers. The services of the Ombudsman are free to the complainant. If a consumer has made a formal complaint to the financial institution in question and if not satisfied with the reply received, then he/she may contact the Financial Services Ombudsman in relation to the matter.

The legislation provides the Ombudsman with various powers in order to determine jurisdiction on a complaint including the following: Section 57BY. (1) The Financial Services shall investigate a complaint if satisfied that the complaint is within the jurisdiction of the Financial Services Ombudsman. 57BZ. (1) Without limiting section 57BY, the Financial Services Ombudsman can decide not to investigate a complaint, or to discontinue an investigation of a complaint, on the ground that (a) the complaint is frivolous or vexatious or was not made in good faith, or (b) the subject-matter of the complaint is trivial, or (c) the conduct complained of occurred at too remote a time to justify investigation, or (d) there is or was available to the complainant an alternative and satisfactory means of redress in relation to the conduct complained of, or (e) the complainant has no interest or an insufficient interest in the conduct complained of.

I note from the correspondence received that the named person was informed in June 2013 that the Financial Services Ombudsman had decided to discontinue the investigation of his complaint pursuant to Section 57BZ (1). I must advise the Deputy that it would not be appropriate for me to comment on this decision by the Ombudsman; neither should I advise individuals on what options are available if the Ombudsman decides not to investigate a complaint.

Question No. 141 answered with Question No. 89.