Thursday, January 31 10:46:19
The Financial Services Ombudsman, Bill Prasifka, today said that his office received a record number of complaints from the public last year.
It received 8,135 complaints in 2012, up 12pc on 2011 levels, according to the office's latest bi-annual review.
The second half of the year saw complaints more than double compared to the first six months of the year.
Complaints alleging mis-selling of insurance to credit card and mortgage customers more than trebled to 1,280 last year.
Mis-selling of such products has been a major issue in Britain, leading to billions of pounds in compensation being paid to British consumers
The Central Bank has been investigating practices here over the past year.
In all, 2,990 findings were made against various financial institutions by the FSO last year, with E1.7m in compensation awarded.
Ombudsman Bill Prasifka says the complaints trend in 2012 are of great concern. ''While more complaints are being settled on referral to the FSO, it is not in the interest of consumers or financial institutions to see a continued increase in complaints overall,'' he says.
He says the reason for the increase in complaints is the fact that the FSO remains at the centre of dealing with legacy issues arising out of the financial crisis. ''For many citizens, their lives can not move forward until these matters are dealt with fairly, effectively and expeditiously,'' the Financial Services Ombudsman states.