Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017
Obstruction of work of Ombudsman
59. (1) A person who—
(a) obstructs or hinders the Ombudsman in the performance of the functions conferred by this Act,
(b) does anything which would, if the Ombudsman were a court having power to commit for contempt of court, be contempt of such court,
(c) without reasonable excuse, fails to comply with a requirement or request made by the Ombudsman under this Act,
(d) in purported compliance with a requirement or request referred to in paragraph (c), gives information that the person knows to be false or misleading, or
(e) refuses to comply with a summons to attend before, or to be examined on oath by, the Ombudsman,
commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a class A fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 3 months, or both.
(2) The Ombudsman may apply to the Circuit Court for an order against a person where it appears to the Ombudsman that the person—
(a) has failed to comply with a requirement made to the person by the Ombudsman under section 47,
(b) has failed to comply with a summons under section 47(3)(b) to appear before the Ombudsman for examination,
(c) having complied with a summons referred to in paragraph (b), has refused to be examined, or
(d) has otherwise obstructed the Ombudsman in the exercise of a power conferred by this Part.
(3) Where, on hearing an application seeking an order under subsection (2) against a person, the Circuit Court is satisfied that the person concerned has failed or refused to do the act in question, the Circuit Court may make an order requiring the person to do that act.
(4) The Circuit Court may not hear an application for an order under subsection (2) unless—
(a) the person against whom the order is sought appears at the hearing, or
(b) the court is satisfied that that person has been served with a copy of the application.
(5) On the hearing of an application for an order under subsection (2) against a person, the Circuit Court shall set aside a requirement made to the person—
(a) to provide information,
(b) to appear before and be examined by the Ombudsman,
(c) to produce a document or other thing, or
(d) to provide a copy of a document,
if it is of the opinion that the person is entitled to claim legal professional privilege with respect to the provision of the information, the production of the document or thing or the provision of the copy.