The Financial Services Ombudsman (FSO) may investigate complaints in relation to any regulated Financial Service Provider. According to the Central Bank Act 1942 as amended, a regulated Financial Service Provider is defined as:
"(a) a financial service provider whose business is subject to regulation by the Bank under this Act or under a designated enactment or a designated statutory instrument,
(b) a financial service provider whose business is subject to regulation by an authority that performs functions in an EEA country that are comparable to the functions performed by the Bank under this Act or under a designated enactment or designated statutory instrument, or
(bb) a financial service provider whose business is subject to supervision by the ECB under a designated enactment, or
(c) in relation to Part VIIB only, any other financial service provider of a class specified in the regulations for the purposes of this paragraph;"
An Post is regulated by the Central Bank in line with the above provisions, and as an Investment Business Firm, Investment Product Intermediary and a Payment Service Institution - (http://registers.centralbank.ie/FirmDataPage.aspx?firmReferenceNumber=C33230).
Where a consumer is unhappy with the service they have received from a firm which is regulated by the Central Bank, they are entitled to make a complaint directly to the firm concerned. If the consumer is not satisfied with the outcome of their complaint, they can refer the matter to the Financial Services Ombudsman. The Financial Services Ombudsman investigates, in an impartial and independent manner, complaints from individual customers and small businesses who have unresolved disputes with financial service providers which are regulated by the Central Bank.
When a complaint is made by a consumer to the FSO in relation to any regulated Financial Service Provider, every effort is made by the FSO to facilitate the parties in achieving a mediated settlement with the help of his dedicated Dispute Resolution team. If no agreement is reached, the matter will proceed to a more formal investigation and adjudication, and the parties will be issued with a legally binding Finding. If the FSO upholds the complaint, he can direct compensation of up to €250,000 and/or direct such rectification as considered to be appropriate in the circumstances.