FF seeks new power for ombudsman
Fianna Fáil has called for the Financial Services Ombudsman to be given the power to make the complaints records of different financial services providers public.
The party’s finance spokesman Michael McGrath said the public should have access to accurate information about how financial service providers are treating customers.
The opposition party put forward a bill last March to give the ombudsman the power to publish the complaints records, but the proposal has not yet moved to a committee stage.
The call comes after the ombudsman Bill Prasifka said complaints to the office were up 12 per cent last year. and described the development as being of great concern.
A total of 8,135 complaints was received, the highest number since the office opened in April 2005.
“It is the stated position of the Financial Services Ombudsman that the public interest would be best served by publishing the complaints record of individual financial service providers,” Mr McGrath said.
“It is vital that public confidence in the Irish financial system be restored. It is my view that greater transparency about the performance and behaviour of individual institutions is a basic pre-requisite to achieve this.”
Mr Prasifka said some financial institutions need to do more to engage with customers before complaints arise.
Complaints regarding payment protection insurance were up by 216 per cent on 2011, and accounted for 32 per cent of all insurance complaints. Banking complaints were 15 per cent higher, with mortgage complaints accounting for almost 40 per cent.