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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 21 August, 2014

Howlin: It’s very worrying that banks aren’t taking the Ombudsman seriously

Brendan Howlin was responding to the criticism of the banks by the Financial Ombudsman yesterday.

Brendan Howlin in Dublin yesterday
Brendan Howlin in Dublin yesterday
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

PUBLIC EXPENDITURE AND Reform Minister Brendan Howlin has expressed concern that the banks are not taking the Financial Ombudsman seriously in response to new figures published yesterday.

The Office of the Financial Ombudsman’s biannual review reported  a 27 per cent increase in complaints with Ombudsman William Prasifka saying that the banking sector “has not shown an improvement in its complaint handling”.

Speaking to the media in Dublin yesterday, Howlin indicated he was troubled by the views expressed by Prasifka in an interview on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

“I listened to him this morning and I was taken by his very clear view that the banks are not taking his office seriously, and that’s very worrying,” the Minister said.

He pointed to how “costly and expensive” the banking crisis has been for Irish citizens and said that the banks need to show customers more respect in their dealings with them.

Yesterday’s figures showed that banking complaints made up 36 per cent of those received, with mortgage and account products making up the most complaints in the banking sector.

Howlin added: “We’ve gone through a banking crisis that has been very costly and expensive for the people of Ireland and the least we’d expect is the banks to treat with complete respect the clients who are the citzens of this country.

“I think the banks needs to take very careful heed of what the Ombudsman said this morning.”

Read Complaints to Financial Services Ombudsman up almost a third

Read: Man writes own credit card contract, sues bank for breaking it

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