A guide to how the Ombudsman handles tracker complaints

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
38,532
A few people have shown me the responses from the Ombudsman, and I must say that I found them confusing. I mistakenly got the impression that the Ombudsman was trying to take short cuts.

At first the Ombudsman will send you an acknowledgement which is a long letter explaining their process.

It can take 6 months from the acknowledgment to when you next hear from the Ombudsman.

There are then two stages to the Ombudsman Process

Stage 1 – Case is assigned to a dispute resolution officer

Stage 2 – case is assigned to Investigation and Adjudication


During Stage 1, the Dispute Resolution Officer will phone you to try to understand the complaint. They will also contact the bank to understand the bank's defence. They will suggest mediation. If it's about the amount of compensation, then you should agree to mediation. But if it's about a systemic issue e.g. the AIB prevailing rate issue, you should immediately reject mediation as AIB will take a month to think about it and then refuse to participate. So rejecting it up front will shorten the process by a month.

One part I found very confusing was that the Ombudsman sends the borrower the email response from AIB. The borrower responds to that. But that seems completely pointless to me in a systemic issue. The borrower and the bank have been through this already during the Independent Appeals Process.

When you reject mediation, The Dispute Resolution Officer will assign the case an Investigation and Adjudication team.
They will send the bank your complaint and a list of questions. They will also ask the bank for a copy of the customer's whole file.

When they get a response from the lender, they will send it to you.
At that stage, you can either respond to their response or confirm that you have nothing further to add.
It will then go to adjudication which can take a further 6 months to 12 months from the date the bank and the borrower stop responding to each other.

What is causing confusion

The Dispute Resolution Officers are writing to the customers quoting the bank's response. In at least one case, they said " If we don't hear from you within 5 days, we will take it that you wish to close the case."

I mistakenly thought that this was the Ombudsman taking a short cut and not investigating the complaint properly. But the signature at the end of the letter was from "Dispute Resolution Officer"

To avoid any confusion

When you get the first letter, if it's a systemic issue, just send an email in response. The Ombudsman staff very helpfully put their email address at the end of each letter.

"Thank you for your letter of . I understand that it is the practice of the bank to decline mediation so to speed matters up, I now formally decline mediation. Please forward my complaint to your Investigations and Adjudication Team."
 
Last edited:

moneymakeover

Frequent Poster
Messages
489
What is causing confusion

The Dispute Resolution Officers are writing to the customers quoting the bank's response. In at least one case, they said " If we don't hear from you within 5 days, we will take it that you wish to close the case."

I mistakenly thought that this was the Ombudsman taking a short cut and not investigating the complaint properly. But the signature at the end of the letter was from "Dispute Resolution Officer"
Once I got response from ombudsman, which contained the banks response.

This was in relation to tracker which has since been resolved,

The ombudsman quoted the bank, which decimated my complaint.

I mistakenly assumed this was same view as ombudsman, didn't reply, and the complaint was closed!

Years later I opened another complaint.
 
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