Thursday, 6 December 2018

Questions (81)

Jack Chambers

Question:

81. Deputy Jack Chambers asked the Minister for Finance the average time for a complaint to be fully investigated and concluded by the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsmen from the initial complaint to final decision; the number of complaints received and investigations completed in each of the past five years; if his attention has been drawn to the perceived lengthy delays to the complaints investigation process; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [51429/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Finance)

As the Deputy will appreciate, the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman is independent in the performance of his functions. I understand that each complaint is different and is dealt with based on its own merits.

That said, the Office of the Financial Service and Pensions Ombudsman has provided the following information based on the work of the Financial Services Ombudsman for the year 2017 in relation to his dispute resolution service and his formal processes of investigation and adjudication.

Dispute resolution provides a flexible and innovative approach to complaint resolution. For those complaints closed in 2017 via Dispute Resolution using mediation techniques:

- 43% were closed within 2 months

- 67% were closed within 4 months

- 79% were closed within 6 months

- 21% took over 6 months to close.

Complaints not resolved through informal processes and considered to be within jurisdiction, are subsequently formally investigated and adjudicated. For those complaints closed in 2017 following a full investigation and written adjudication:

- 13% were closed within 1 year

- 65% were closed within 2 years

- 80% were closed within 3 years

- 20% took over 3 years to close.

As the investigation process involves regular exchanges of evidence, the length of this process is dependent on the number of submissions made by each party, and the complexity of the matters at hand.

The Office of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman has also provided the following table with details of complaints received and closed in 2014 to 2017 and also from January to October of 2018.

Year

Complaints received

Complaints closed

01.01.18 – 30.10.18

4937

3742

2017

4538

3867

2016

4,513

4323

2015

4,872

4915

2014

4477

5878