Central Bank (Supervision and Enforcement) Act 2013

72.

Ombudsman’s report to include information about complaints.

72.— (1) Section 57BS of the Central Bank Act 1942 is amended by inserting the following after subsection (3):

“(4) If the Financial Services Ombudsman thinks that it would be in the public interest to do so, a report under subsection (1) may, in accordance with regulations made under section 57BF, include in respect of every regulated financial service provider falling within subsection (5) the information specified in subsection (6).

(5) A regulated financial service provider falls within this subsection if, in the preceding financial year, at least 3 complaints relating to the regulated financial service provider which have been made to the Financial Services Ombudsman have been found by that Ombudsman to be substantiated or partly substantiated.

(6) The information referred to in subsection (4) is—

( a) the name of the regulated financial service provider, including any trading name (if different),

( b) where applicable, the identity of any group of which the regulated financial service provider is a member, and

( c) the number of complaints found to be substantiated or partly substantiated in respect of the regulated financial service provider in the preceding financial year.

(7) For the purposes of the law of defamation the publication of the information referred to in subsection (4) in a report under subsection (1) shall be absolutely privileged.

(8) A report under subsection (1) shall not divulge the identity of any complainant nor shall anything be published in the report which may lead to the identification of any complainant unless the complainant consents in writing.

(9) For the purposes of this section if the regulated financial service provider has appealed against the Financial Services Ombudsman’s finding that a complaint has been found to be substantiated or partly substantiated the complaint is to be taken to have been so found only when—

( a) the finding is affirmed (with or without modification) on appeal, or

(b) the appeal is withdrawn, struck out by the High Court or abandoned.

(10) For the purposes of subsection (6)( b) a person is a member of a group if it is an undertaking dealt with in group accounts (within the meaning of section 150(1) of the Companies Act 1963).”.

(2) Section 57BF of the Central Bank Act 1942 is amended in subsection (2) by inserting the following after paragraph ( c):

“( ca) for the purposes of a report under section 57BS(1) make provision for—

(i) the form and manner in which the information specified in the report is given, including provision for the categorisation of the different classes of regulated financial service providers identified in the report, the different classes of financial services to which the complaints by reason of which they are so identified relate and the different descriptions of those complaints, and

(ii) the form and manner in which the report may be published and the information made available;”.