Sinn Féin spokesperson on Finance Pearse Doherty TD has voiced concern over the number of the complaints that have been submitted to the Financial Ombudsman but remain unresolved, having received a response to a Parliamentary Question to the Minister for Finance.
The response detailed that over 4,600 complaints to the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman remain unresolved, with 2,865 of those for more than 12 months of being received.
Teachta Doherty has called on the Ombudsman to explain the reasons for the backlog, with further complaints expected as a result of bank and insurer conduct since the beginning of the pandemic.
Speaking today, Teachta Doherty said:
“Figures obtained through a parliamentary question to the Minister for Finance raise questions around the capacity of the Financial Services Ombudsman to process complaints made by consumers.
“They show that 4,607 complaints made to the FSPO remain unresolved, with over 2,100 having been made more than 12 months ago.
“This backlog demands a response from the Ombudsman.
“If the FSPO lacks resources or specialist staff, it must be made known.
“Since March, the Financial Ombudsman has received 2,581 bank complaints and 1,511 insurance complaints.
“We know that borrowers have had difficulties accessing relief from banks as a result of income lost during the pandemic.
“We also know that businesses have been refused valid claims from insurers for business interruption as a result of the pandemic.
“As a result of the recent High Court judgment against FBD, the FSPO is likely to receive even more complaints.
“This underlines the importance of the Ombudsman for customers that have suffered mistreatment from banks and insurance companies.
“We need to know that the Ombudsman is adequately resourced to handle these complaints and serve the needs of consumers.”