Written answers

Wednesday, 24 November 2021

Department of Finance

Financial Services

Photo of Brendan SmithBrendan Smith (Cavan-Monaghan, Fianna Fail)
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67. To ask the Minister for Finance if his attention has been drawn to concerns of customers of some financial institutions that were mis-sold mortgages and the failure of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman to pursue legitimate complaints; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [57959/21]

Photo of Paschal DonohoePaschal Donohoe (Dublin Central, Fine Gael)
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Firstly, I must point out that the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman (FSPO) is independent in the performance of his statutory functions. I have no role in the day to day workings of the office or in the decisions which the Ombudsman takes. It is not appropriate for me as Minister to comment on or become involved in an individual consumer’s dispute with a financial service provider.

One of the main roles of the Ombudsman is to investigate, mediate and adjudicate complaints about the conduct of financial or pension service providers. The FSPO was established to provide an alternative to the Courts for consumers who have unresolved disputes with a financial or pension service provider and all investigations by the Ombudsman are free of charge to the consumer. Subject only to an appeal to the High Court, a finding of the Ombudsman in respect of a complaint is legally binding on all parties.

Section 50(2) of the Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017 states"Where a question arises as to whether the Ombudsman has jurisdiction, under this Act, to investigate a complaint, the question shall be determined by the Ombudsman whose decision shall be final".

I hope this clarifies the position.


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