I refer to the Deputy's Oral Parliamentary Question (No. 10) of 28 February 2019 regarding section 44(2) and section 50(3) of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017.
I committed that I would follow up on the matter with the Office of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman when I received the particulars of the case from the Deputy. At the time I also stated that in my engagement with the Ombudsman's Office I have found that it takes and discharges its responsibilities very seriously.
Following receipt of the particulars of the case from the Deputy, my officials contacted the Office of the Financial Services and Pension Ombudsman in relation to the policy issue raised by the case, the fact that a complaint cannot be made to the Ombudsman if it has been the subject of legal proceedings before a court or tribunal.
Having considered the issue, I am not convinced that there is any gap in the legislation which requires to be resolved. The Ombudsman offers an alternative method of resolving disputes with financial service providers to the courts. It is a matter for the complainant to decide, possibly in consultation with their legal advisors, whether to pursue the complaint through the courts or through the Ombudsman. However, it is right and proper that they cannot pursue the same complaint through both routes.