Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017
Complaints and redress: financial service providers
60. (1) On completing an investigation of a complaint relating to a financial service provider that has not been settled or withdrawn, the Ombudsman shall make a decision in writing that the complaint—
(a) is upheld,
(b) is substantially upheld,
(c) is partially upheld, or
(d) is rejected.
(2) A complaint may be found to be upheld, substantially upheld or partially upheld only on one or more of the following grounds:
(a) the conduct complained of was contrary to law;
(b) the conduct complained of was unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or improperly discriminatory in its application to the complainant;
(c) although the conduct complained of was in accordance with a law or an established practice or regulatory standard, the law, practice or standard is, or may be, unreasonable, unjust, oppressive or improperly discriminatory in its application to the complainant;
(d) the conduct complained of was based wholly or partly on an improper motive, an irrelevant ground or an irrelevant consideration;
(e) the conduct complained of was based wholly or partly on a mistake of law or fact;
(f) an explanation for the conduct complained of was not given when it should have been given;
(g) the conduct complained of was otherwise improper.
(3) A decision of the Ombudsman under this section shall be communicated to the parties by the Ombudsman and such decision shall include the following:
(a) the decision under subsection (1);
(b) the grounds for the decision under subsection (2);
(c) any direction given under subsection (4).
(4) Where a complaint is found to be upheld, substantially upheld or partially upheld, the Ombudsman may direct the financial service provider to do one or more of the following:
(a) review, rectify, mitigate or change the conduct complained of or its consequences;
(b) provide reasons or explanations for that conduct;
(c) change a practice relating to that conduct;
(d) pay an amount of compensation to the complainant for any loss, expense or inconvenience sustained by the complainant as a result of the conduct complained of;
(e) take any other lawful action that the Ombudsman considers appropriate having had regard to all the circumstances of the complaint.
F5[(4A) (a) In paragraph (b) and subsections (4B) and (4C) “Act of 2019” means the Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019.
(b) Subsection (4B) is without prejudice to the generality of subsection (2) as it operates to enable the Ombudsman to make decisions by reference to, amongst other things, the enactments concerning the financial service concerned, including, as the case may be, the Act of 2019.
(4B) The provisions of section 26 of the Act of 2019 apply in relation to the power of the Ombudsman under subsection (4)(d) to direct the payment of compensation in a complaint involving a contract of insurance as they apply in relation to the power of a court of competent jurisdiction to make an award of damages in a claim under a contract of insurance.
(4C) The power under section 26 of the Act of 2019 shall not be exercised by the Ombudsman to an extent that such exercise would have the result that the total sum of compensation payable in respect of the complaint concerned exceeds the amount which, by way of compensation, the Ombudsman has jurisdiction to direct the payment of under this Act.]
(5) Other than where a greater amount of compensation is prescribed by regulations made under section 4, the Ombudsman may not direct the payment of an amount of compensation exceeding—
(a) €26,000 per annum, where the subject of a complaint is an annuity, or
(b) €250,000 in respect of all other complaints.
(6) A direction under subsection (4) which requires a financial service provider to pay an amount of compensation may provide for interest to be paid at the rate referred to in section 22 of the Courts Act 1981 where the amount is not paid by a date specified in the direction.
(7) The Ombudsman shall give a copy of a decision under this section to—
(a) the complainant, and
(b) the financial service provider to which the complaint relates.
(8) Where a decision under this section contains a direction under subsection (4), the financial service provider concerned—
(a) shall comply with the direction within such period as is specified in the direction, or within such extended period as the Ombudsman allows, and
(b) shall, not later than 14 days after the end of that period or extended period referred to in paragraph (a), notify in writing the Ombudsman of action taken or proposed to be taken in consequence of the direction.
Inserted (1.09.2020) by Consumer Insurance Contracts Act 2019 (53/2019), s. 4, S.I. No. 328 of 2020.