Compensation and other redress

If your complaint is not resolved during mediation, it will proceed to a formal investigation. Following the investigation, the Ombudsman issues a legally binding decision. Decisions made by the Ombudsman are legally binding on both the complainant and the provider. Decisions can be appealed by either party. Appeals can only be made by way of a statutory appeal to the High Court.

The Ombudsman may direct the provider to pay compensation to the complainant or may direct the provider to rectify or fix the issue.

There is no limit to the value the Ombudsman can direct, to fix or correct an issue.

Financial Service complaints

The Ombudsman can direct a financial service provider to pay compensation to a complainant of up to €500,000, or €52,000 in the case of annuities.

Pension complaints

The Ombudsman's powers are more limited when dealing with complaints against pension providers. While the provider can be directed to fix or correct an issue, the legislation governing the FSPO sets out that any financial remedy by the Ombudsman cannot exceed any actual loss of benefit under the pension scheme concerned.

On the record offers

In the case of some complaints, a financial service provider may respond early in the investigation process to make a formal offer to the complainant, on the record, of compensation, or an amount of money to fix or correct the issue. Both may be offered in some cases.

The provider may admit wrongdoing, or it may make the offer without an admission of wrongdoing. If the complainant does not accept such an offer, the investigation will continue and a legally binding decision will be issued.

Complaints that are not upheld

If your complaint is not upheld, the Ombudsman will not direct the provider to take any action, or to pay compensation.

The Ombudsman may decide that a complaint should not be upheld, because an early offer of compensation from the provider, which still remains open to the complainant to accept, is reasonable and adequate to fix the conduct giving rise to the complaint. For this reason, it is not necessary for the Ombudsman to make any further direction.

Potential Costs

Bringing a complaint to us is straightforward and will not cost you anything. You do not need to hire a solicitor or any other professional assistance to handle your complaint, but if you choose to, then any costs incurred for these services are your responsibility. When issuing a decision, the Ombudsman cannot direct a provider to pay for your legal costs.