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Friday 24 March 2023 Dublin: 7°C
Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland
# Complaints
5pc spike in complaints to Financial Services Ombudsman
3,700 people lodged complaints with Bill Prasifka’s office in the first half of 2012 – a 5 per cent increase in last year.

THE OFFICE of the Financial Services Ombudsman has reported an increase of about 5 per cent in the number of complaints received in the first half of the year.

Bill Prasifka’s office received about 3,700 complaints in the first half of this year, the highest it has received since the office was set up.

The volume of complaints being upheld has also risen, with about 28 per cent of complaints upheld in the first half of the year, up from 26 per cent.

When combined with the increase in complaints made, this means the number of overall complaints being upheld has increased significantly. A total of €790,000 in compensation was paid.

The number of complaints is likely to surge even further in the second half of the year, as the office begins to process complaints related to the IT failure at Ulster Bank which affected an estimated 600,000 banking customers.

Speaking on Newstalk’s Breakfast programme, Prasifka said his office had received 150 complaints about Ulster Bank in July alone – with the number of complaints from affected customers likely to rise in the following months.

Describing the increase in complaints as “a matter of some concern”, he remarked that the increase in referrals to his office indicated “a deterioration” in the performance of financial services companies in how they handled complaints themselves.

“I don’t think these are good trends for the industry,” he said. ”We’re seeing more complaints in, and we’re having to uphold a higher portion of the complaints”.

Insurance products were the most regular sources of dispute, Prasifka said, with payment protection insurance a particularly troublesome area. Among banks the single biggest source of complaints were the interest rates and terms and conditions attached to mortgages.

Read: Ulster Bank customers can claim stress compensation, says Financial Ombudsman

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