THE FINANCE MINISTER has brought in a new rule which will see financial institutions publicly named and shamed if they receive a certain number of valid complaints about their services.
The new Statutory Instrument signed by Michael Noonan today gives the Financial Services Ombudsman the power to name any financial service providers who have at least three complaints against them substantiated.
The move comes days after a senior Minister expressed concern that banks are not taking the Financial Ombudsman seriously.
“This additional provision will mean that financial service providers who are failing their customers will be publicly identified and incentivised to make real improvements,” said Noonan.
Complaints to the Financial Ombudsman have steadily increased, with recent figures showing that there were more than 4,500 complaints in the first six months of this year – a jump of 27 per cent on the same period last year. Insurance complaints made up half of all complaints while banking issues accounted for more than one third.
The rule will come into effect from Sunday 1 September and it is expected that the first report outlining which institutions have had complaints against them upheld will be published early next year.