15 cases decided. Ombudsman upholds 27% of tracker complaints so far. Dismissed 73%

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,685
Ger Deering
Tara Mc Dermott
Mary Rose McGovern
Diarmuid Byrne

We are not dealing with complaints as quickly as we would like.
approval to recruit 35 new staff - but it's hard to recruit and retain staff.

Good explanation of time limits but very fast.

If the complaint is made outside the time limits, I must find it so.

But all the main lenders are taking the approach that the vast majority of complaints were made within the time limits.

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BB comment: only 27% upheld or substantially upheld

6 preliminary decisions issued

Full decisions to be published by end of January.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,685
Michael McGrath

2009 article 29th November article by Charlie referred to Joe Meade wrote to Financial Regulator calling for a probe

Could we have saved a lot of time, if the CB dealt with it quicker

What was the outcome then?

Deering: A complaint was made to the FR but I am not aware of a report
McGrath: Could you share the CB's response?

Can you confirm that some banks did challenge the time limits?

Deering: Yes, they pointed out that certain complaints were outside the time limits.
The legislation said "I shall disallow it..." so I was required to do an assessment.

I can only deal with each complaint. At the moment it's not a problem. but it could become a problem again.

The complaints you are dealing with
The different cohorts

AIB EBS BoI staff ptsb discounted tracker

How are you grouping them?
How do you deal with similar cases?
So the process is efficient.

Deering
Yes. We have categorised complaints
Any decision I make could have implications for other cases.
We send all tracker decisions to the CB for their information.
If we think that it has implications, we will draw the CB's attention to it.

I would expect that decisions on particular cohorts would be applied by the banks to all in that cohort.
However I don't have the power to direct that.

I will be publishing my decisions which will be helpful.

But I might have to rule on every case.

McGrath: Do you have to wait for your annual report to make your decisions?

Deering.No. We will publish in January and more often after that.

mcGrath
The CB explains the banks to apply your decisions to others in that cohort.
It would save a lot of time for you

Deering: and for the complainants.

McGrath
You have closed out 455 tracker complaints

146 investigation and adjudication but you have made only 15 decisions

Deering: Someone was at an advanced stage but withdrew it becasue they got an offer from the bank in the CB review process

McGrath: VEry few go to adjudciation

Deering: So far . But that will change.You will see a lot more decisions

We are approaching adjudication for a lot of decisions.

McGrath: What is the timeframe for a complaint coming in in 2019.

Deering: longer than we would like. There is a waiting period for the dispute resolution service (BB: i.e. mediation)
Adjudication can be a year to 18 months.
 

Dpdp01050842

Registered User
Messages
49
Thanks for this. How do I read the above? 455 complaints are closed but only 15 decisions? And then there is a further 6 preliminary decisions so 21 in total. How does that match the 455

On another note small numbers but 7/15 or 47% have had some form of positive decision despite being through the independent appeal route. Strong indication that progressing to the Ombudsman is worth doing despite how long it takes.
 
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SaySomething

Frequent Poster
Messages
565
Strategic plan focussed on improving and speeding up the service. So customers who enter into full investigation and adjudication at the moment can expect their complaints to take 12-18 months but we hope to improve this in 2020.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,685
Pearse Doherty
Disclosure: one of my relatives has a complaint with you against PTSB

What are your recruitment problems?

Deering: There is so much recruitment in the public sector that we are losing people to other bodies.
The dispute resolution work we do is in high demand - e.g. the Residential Tenancies Board

They have to start on the first point of the scale, which is very difficult for someone coming from the private sector in Dublin.

Time limits
Doherty

Certain time limits still apply?

How is the legislation working in practice?

Deering: a lot of people think that the time limit is gone. It's not.
It's 3 years since you became aware
We have many files where we spend more time dealing with jurisdiction than with the substantive issue.

When we try mediation , we ask them not to invoke the time limits . But then if mediation fails and we go to adjudication, I might have to rule it out of order. This really annoys the complainant.

Pearse: Would most of the outstanding cases have been excluded if the legislation had not been changed

Deering: Yes.
 
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Dpdp01050842

Registered User
Messages
49
Thanks BB. 21 is an extremely low number but I guess the below could have had a significant impact on decision speed

“We send all tracker decisions to the CB for their information.”
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,685
Pearse on the numbers

234 were resolved through mediation?

Were they to the benefit of customers

Deering
Two categories
Resolved by clarification
37 resolved by settlement - including trackers back and compensation

Pearse: Will you be publishing the outcome of these?

Deering: Mediation is confidential, but we are a public body.
Balancing transparency and confidentiality.

We will publish case studies of mediation.
And we publish statistics

Another issue is : We have a code of ethics - Maybe this is a systemic issue which should not be settled by mediation, they will withdraw it and refer it for adjudication.

(BB comment: fair play to them. This is great)

Pearse: Have the lenders different approaches?

Deering - in general, they are all working well on mediation. 80% of complaints generally resolved by mediations.
But we will have issued 500 decisions this year.

Pearse: 146 decisions have been closed?
They have had complaints with us for some time. They don't always come back and tell us that they are happy with the bank.

Could some of them have received an offer mid-stream from the lender?
Do you know how many were closed to the benefit: 121 got a settlement. 5 were withdrawn.

43 were closed at registration and review: Because they had not complained first to the lender.

15 decisions
Can you give me an example of the largest decision

€50k in one that was upheld
Also one I directed the lender to put the person back on the tracker

BB: Seems to imply that partially upheld could be substantial
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,685
Senator Gerry Horkan

Deering
Some complaints which came in this year have been settled already because they were straightforward.

We recruited 43 and lost 38 staff

Some have been promoted elsewhere.

We don't use the Public Appointments Service. They are in the public service but not civil servants.

The people we had when the legislation changed were civil servants and they have gone back to the civil service instead of being deemed public servants.

Trackers
Horkan: We saw what the KBC MD said last week. How do you see the banking industry?

The tracker issue is dying. I don't expect that many more will come in

Deering: I don't know. 2018 was the peak
But when I publish my decisions, other might see themselves as affected by the issue and complain.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
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38,685
Chairman - John McGuinness

What do you do if a decision by the bank that someone was not impacted and then the Central Bank find them impacted?

Deering
We look at all information produced. But we take a fresh look at it.

Chairman: You must have seen a lot of these

Deering: We haven't seen many yet.

If I do see it, I will work with the CB to see should it apply to others.

Chairman
As you reach a decision ...

What if you think a case is worth more than €500k

Deering: there is no limit on rectification - the value of that could be over €500k, but separately from that I can award up to €500k

Chairman
How often to you meet the BPFI?

Deering:

They organise a meeting twice a year to meet the people who handle complaints? We do it with the Insurance Ireland as well.

Chairman: Are you not being soft soaped by them?

Deering
It's an open and transparent meeting. And works much better for us than meeting them all individually. I am familiar with the idea of regulatory capture.
 

Dpdp01050842

Registered User
Messages
49
I see. It’s great that decisions are coming through but it’s a slow slow process for sure. 21 decisions / preliminary findings is not an output I would have expected given this is 10 months into the year. Even if this picks up significantly to 20 decisions per month it will be years for them to get through things. Hopefully the forms of streamlining will improve. Quarterly updates are obviously welcomed.
 

Gimmestrength

Registered User
Messages
41
Ger Deering
Tara Mc Dermott
Mary Rose McGovern
Diarmuid Byrne

We are not dealing with complaints as quickly as we would like.
approval to recruit 35 new staff - but it's hard to recruit and retain staff.

Good explanation of time limits but very fast.

If the complaint is made outside the time limits, I must find it so.

But all the main lenders are taking the approach that the vast majority of complaints were made within the time limits.

View attachment 4144

View attachment 4145

View attachment 4146

BB comment: only 27% upheld or substantially upheld

6 preliminary decisions issued

Full decisions to be published by end of January.
Brendan are you basing the 27% v 73% figures (the headline on this thread) on the four cases out of 15 that have been upheld or partially upheld ? If so these are tiny numbers to be drawing any valuable inference from where there are 1174 cases still to be decided upon (not counting any new cases lodged)
 

john_mcm

Registered User
Messages
13
The 12 to 18 month timeframe given, does that include the back and forth communication/questions between the ombudsman and the bank and the customer? My initial complaint has a registration date of November 2018?
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,685
If so these are tiny numbers to be drawing any valuable inference from
Hi Gimme

Fair point. I typed the heading while I was listening to the hearing.

I have now updated to say that it's only 4 cases.

It's a strange one. If he upholds the AIB prevailing rate issue , then the percentage upheld would go way up. If he rejects it, the percentage will go down.

Brendan
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,685
The 12 to 18 month timeframe given, does that include the back and forth communication/questions between the ombudsman and the bank and the customer?
Yes. But I would say that even if you refuse mediation and don't reply to the bank's response, it will still take 12 months.

Every response you make extends it out further.

Brendan
 
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