Key Post Case studies from the 2010 Annual Report

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
44,659
I have copied and pasted these without fixing the format. If anyone has the time to take these one by one and start a fresh post, it would be a great help.




[FONT=&quot]The FSO is not bound by precedent; each case is considered[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n its individual merits. The legislation which founded the FSO allows matters to be considered on a fair and equitable basis. The following case studies are examples of individual cases examined by the FSO.[/FONT]


[FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]S[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT]




[FONT=&quot]1 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ove[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r for Community Employment Scheme employee[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]A [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s a member [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of a soccer team. He was in receipt of Disability Benefit from March 2007, following a workplace accident, but had been deemed fit enough to play soccer with his team.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant sustained an injury while playing for the team in October 2009. At the time, the Complainant was still in receipt of Disability Benefit from the Department of Social Protection, but he was also employed on a Community Employment Scheme for 20 hours a week, as was his entitlement. This Scheme was a 12 month contract. The Company would not recognise the Complainant’s participation on the Scheme as employment, and did not consider him to[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e unemployed, due to him claiming Disability Benefit as opposed to[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Jo[/FONT][FONT=&quot]bs[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]k[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s [/FONT][FONT=&quot]B[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]fi[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]response to the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot],[/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Company [/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ated that the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n [/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ll-time gainful employment as prescribed in the definition of temporary disability under the policy. The Company also stated that the policy defined an unemployed person as someone who is not in gainful employment and is claiming unemployment assistance or benefit from the Department of Social Protection.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Deputy Ombudsman, having investigated the matter, found that the Company did not apply the full definition for temporary disability in regard to the Complainant. The definition for temporary disability also included that the policy would only cover loss of earning, less any Social Welfare/ Revenue contributions that would result in the claimant being in a equal, not better, situation, so that the accident would not have affected his earnings.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Deputy Ombudsman noted that there was evidence to show that the Complainant suffered a loss, i.e. his weekly wage under the Scheme, and that he also paid a PRSI contribution. The Complainant was let go from the Scheme because the accident resulted in him breaching a sick leave condition with the Scheme, and he was issued with a P45 on the termination of his Contract.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Deputy Ombudsman found that the Complainant had a clearly defined loss, and that his participation on the Scheme was in line with other characteristics of employment and that the Company should pay benefit to the Complainant in line with other policy conditions.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant was awarded €1,813.60.[/FONT]







[FONT=&quot]2 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]S[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]iou[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s [/FONT][FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ll[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ove[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r – Disclosure of Information[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint in this case related to a claim under a Serious Illness Policy.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman had to make a Finding on whether a full disclosure was made of a pre-existing medical condition when the policy was incepted. In the Ombudsman’s assessment of the case particular regard was had to [/FONT][FONT=&quot](i) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s [/FONT][FONT=&quot]k[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]owledge [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of his condition [/FONT][FONT=&quot](ii) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]account [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of his meeting with the Company Agent [/FONT][FONT=&quot](iii) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]account [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of the meeting and [/FONT][FONT=&quot](iv) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e documentary [/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]id[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e that [/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e did disclose to the Agent that he previously had a tumour, but same was not malignant and it was the Agent who completed the Application Form and did not include this information. The Agent merely stated in his account of the sale that: “There was never any mention of malignant growth”.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]W[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]regard to the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]k[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]owledge [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of his medical condition it was noted that the Complainant had made an insurance claim in 2002 with another Insurance company. That claim was declined on the basis that his medical condition did[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ot meet the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]licy definition of cancer. The Complainant’s Consultant Surgeon confirmed that position as follows: “The Complainant had superficial bladder tumor which had not reached the stage of invasive bladder cancer”. From the evidence[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s reasonable to assume that the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]k[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]owledge [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of his medical condition was that he had a bladder tumor and nothing more. The Agent’s account did not contradict this, but merely confirmed that there was never mention of a malignant growth.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman also had some concerns about the completion of the Application[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]Fo[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]. The evidence pointed to the Application Form having been altered after the Complainant had signed it. Any alteration to an Application Form should be initialled by the Proposer showing agreement to same. The Ombudsman found that this error or omission in the completion of the Application Form was the responsibility of the Company.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n the basis of all the evidence submitted, the Ombudsman found that a disclosure of the 2002 medical condition was made by the Complainant. Therefore, a legally binding contract was created in 2005 and the Benefit Claim made under same was incorrectly repudiated by the Company. Therefore, the Ombudsman directed the Company to [/FONT][FONT=&quot](i) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]se[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m and pay the benefits to the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]and[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot](ii) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a compensatory [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]of €1,500.[/FONT]




[FONT=&quot]3 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Pe[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]on[/FONT][FONT=&quot]al [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]/ [/FONT][FONT=&quot]B[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]P[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint in this case related to a claim under a Personal Accident / Business Travel Insurance Policy.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Policyholder (a commercial company with business dealings abroad) had the policy in place for a number of years. The Policyholder’s foreign based employee was covered under the policy. The employee died abroad in 2007.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Insurance Company paid for the repatriation of his body to his home country. The Insurance Company refused to pay the Death Benefit under the policy on[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e ground that [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]lieved the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]death was not [/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y accidental means. The Policyholder relied on a letter from the Investigating Judge in support of its case. The letter stated that the deceased was murdered and that there was an advancing investigation in relation to his death. In his report the Insurance Company’s Claims Investigator had stated that he received the same information from the Judge in his meeting with him in 2008. In his report the Insurance Company’s Claims Investigator questioned the Judge’s logic of investigating the death as murder as opposed to that of suicide. The Claim Investigator further[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]







[FONT=&quot]q[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]J[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]fo[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r continuing with that line of investigation.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e issue that had to be decided was whether the Insurance Company correctly dealt with the claim under the policy.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman found that one must accept the official finding of an Investigating Judge as being just that official and that the Complainant was entitled to have the claim assessed on that basis. Under the Finding, the Company was directed to assess the claim on the basis that the Insured Person was murdered and to[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nvey its decision as quickly as possible to the Complainant. The Complainant later confirmed with the Bureau that the Company had duly settled the death benefit claim.[/FONT]




[FONT=&quot][/FONT]
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
44,659
[FONT=&quot]4 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Alleg[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d Mis-selling of an Investment[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint was that the Company acted negligently and in breach of contract by failing to explain the investment in full and sold an investment which was inappropriate for the Complainant. On the recommendation of the Company, the Complainant invested €38,000 in a medium risk investment, on 30th August 2007. Due to volatile market conditions, the Complainant’s investment decreased in value and she lost approximately €9,500.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant’s husband died in March 2006 and he always dealt with financial matters as the Complainant claimed she had literacy difficulties due to the fact that she left school at primary level. Following the death of her husband in 2006, the Complainant received a lump sum of €53,000. The money was on deposit[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]with the Bank and the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s [/FONT][FONT=&quot]fo[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r any need that may arise, in particular relating to her own health. The Company approached the Complainant regarding the funds she had on deposit. The Complainant informed the Company that she wished that her funds be instantly accessible when needed and stated she was not interested in making any money but wanted her money to be safe.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant’s representative claimed that the Complainant’s literacy problems meant that she would not have understood the information presented to her during the financial review and sales process. The Complainant’s representative does not expand on the extent of the Complainant’s literacy problems, but states that she would have been unable to comprehend either the content of the review process or the workings of the product that was sold to[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]he[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot], and would not have been able to complete the paper application without the assistance of the Insurance and Investments Manager. The Complainant argued that she was unaware that her money was invested and thought it was in a secure fund. The Complainant believed that the Bank failed to act in her best interest[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]and [/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]id not establish an understanding of her needs. The Complainant sought the return of her original investment of €38,000.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]During the investigation, the Ombudsman noted the Complainant’s circumstances, namely, that she was recently widowed at the time she made the investment; that she had no prior experience of investments and that the Fact Find conducted by[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]fi[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l adviser demonstrated that her assets consisted of her home worth[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]€[/FONT][FONT=&quot]1[/FONT][FONT=&quot]2[/FONT][FONT=&quot]5[/FONT][FONT=&quot],[/FONT][FONT=&quot]00[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0 and [/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]vi[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d [/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ts[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]€58,000. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman noted the Complainant’s claim that her literacy difficulties meant that she would not have fully understood the product. However, the extent of the Complainant’s literacy[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]fi[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e not proven by evidence and indeed one of her submissions indicated that she was actually aware of some degree of risk attaching to the product.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]W[/FONT][FONT=&quot]hi[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]bu[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]oted the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m that [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s unaware [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of the[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]literacy difficulties, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s aware that at the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]of the sale that[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]







[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e money, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]which the Complainant would be using to invest constituted[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]wo[/FONT][FONT=&quot]-[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]of her savings. The Ombudsman was particularly concerned with the contents of the Personal Financial Review or Fact Find, which the financial adviser undertook at the sales meeting in August 2007. The Review made no mention of[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nv[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r her access requirements. The Review noted that the only income the Complainant was receiving at the time was a Social Welfare benefit. Important information about the Complainant’s income was omitted from the Personal Financial Review with no notes or explanation as to why this was done. The Ombudsman stated that he was not[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]at all happy with a [/FONT][FONT=&quot]R[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]da[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]and Reasons [/FONT][FONT=&quot]W[/FONT][FONT=&quot]hy document, which is simply a pre-printed, generic document and doesn’t provide reasons specific to that investor of why a particular product is being recommended and referred in[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]regard to the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]and regulatory r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]q[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot],[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nc[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]di[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ng [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]q[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]of the Financial Regulator’s Consumer Protection Code. An investment product of the nature of the one recommended to the Complainant, would be considered somewhat complex to the uninitiated investor. Therefore, in the Ombudsman’s opinion, the Complainant should have been provided with a more detailed ‘Reasons Why’ statement, including all of the reasons why this particular product was suitable for her, to enable her to consider whether she agreed.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman concluded that the Company did not act in the Complainant’s best interests. Given the Complainant’s circumstances at the time of the investment in August 2007, her complete lack of investment experience and[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]he[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r concerns about having access to her money, it was found that the Company recommended an unsuitable investment to her in August 2007.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint was substantiated and the Ombudsman returned €7,500 of the Complainant’s €9,500 loss as her indication that she was aware of some level of risk was taken into consideration.[/FONT]



[FONT=&quot]5 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]S[/FONT][FONT=&quot]alary Protection S[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint in this case related to a disability claim under a Salary Protection Scheme. The Complainant was in receipt of benefit for a number of years. The complaint was that the disability benefit was incorrectly stopped by the Company.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]Having [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nsidered all the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]id[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot],[/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]bu[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]fo[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d that the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ul[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d carry out the duties of his employment, but not to the fullest extent. The Ombudsman considered that a person could show improvement in health when removed from the environment that caused the ill health. However, the risk of[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]llness recurring was more likely to happen if that person was to return to that environment, without the necessary supports. The Ombudsman found that this would be particularly so where stress was the cause of the illness. It was the Complainant’s contention that the Company should have quantified his incapacity and assessed its impact on his employment duties. It was noted that the medical reports submitted to the Company suggested a “rehabilitation programme”, “opportunity to re-train” or “cognitive type support, aimed to facilitate a return[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]to the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]wo[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]k[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ace[/FONT][FONT=&quot]”[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT][FONT=&quot]F[/FONT][FONT=&quot]rom the evidence submitted, the Company did not offer to facilitate any of these measures.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman found that the Company’s interpretation of the policy was not correct. The Ombudsman held that the policy provisions did not mean that a person had to be unable to carry out all of the duties involved in their occupation to qualify for benefit. To be covered under the policy a Member must be totally incapable[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y reason of illness or injury of following the occupational duties associated with the job. The policy definition of “Member” that applied to the Complainant was a Member who was a “full-time employee”. The policy definition of “Occupation” that[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]







[FONT=&quot]applied to the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s the actual [/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n which he was employed[/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]efore becoming [/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot],[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i.[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e. a full-time Employee of the Company.[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant’s occupation was not part-time based, but involved all that needed to be done in the list of duties which embraced the role of a full-time employee. In other words, the occupational duties of a full-time employee went beyond those which the Complainant was able to do because of his illness. Accordingly, the Ombudsman was satisfied that the Complainant was still disabled within the meaning of the Policy and that he was entitled to be paid Benefit from the date of its termination. The Ombudsman directed the Company to pay the Complainant the disability benefit from the date of termination.[/FONT]



[FONT=&quot]6 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]S[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]it[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]hing mortgage [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s – [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]k[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]M[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ga[/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT]
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
44,659
[FONT=&quot]7 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Alleg[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d Mis-selling of an Investment Bond[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainants in this case took out an investment with the Company in[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]June [/FONT][FONT=&quot]2[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0[/FONT][FONT=&quot]6 of €30,000. The Complainants maintained that they were led to believe by the Company that the investment was capital guaranteed at the end of its term. The Complainants stressed that they met only with one female advisor of the[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]
[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ge[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nt, [/FONT][FONT=&quot]who gave them limited information about the investment. The Complainants also alleged that they did not complete a financial review with an advisor of the Company, as maintained by the Company. The Complainants[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]hat [/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of them met this second advisor of the Company in relation to this investment. The investment subsequently lost several thousand.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]U[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]der the circumstances of two conflicting version of events in relation to the initial investment meeting of the 9th June 2006, the Ombudsman called an oral hearing, requesting the Complainants and the two company advisors to attend.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman was satisfied from his consideration of the evidence given by the Company, at the Oral Hearing, that the substance of the second advisor’s evidence on oath on behalf of the Company, is that the financial review document did not accurately reflect the advice or information given to the Complainant[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]at the advisory [/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ng[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]record [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of advices and recommendations was automatically generated by the Company’s systems and subsequently signed off by the advisor. The Ombudsman found that this casts serious doubt over the advices and options that this advisor alleges to have given to the Complainants. Having considered the Company advisor’s testimony as to whether he met with the Complainants, it is clear that he holds a certain level[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]of doubt as to whether he had met them at the investment meeting on the[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]9[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of June 2006.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e absence [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of any suitable evidence to validate the sales process in respect of the Complainants’ investment policy, the Ombudsman was satisfied that[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nv[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]licy was indeed mis-sold to the Complainants. In those circumstances, the Ombudsman directed the Complainants to assign the Bond to the Company, and for the Company to refund the Complainants their initial investment of €30,000.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]D[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e to the serious apparently systemic issues concerning the Company’s sales process raised by the investigation of this complaint, the Ombudsman also referred this case to the Financial Regulator.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]8 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]D[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]re[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t [/FONT][FONT=&quot]D[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]he Complainant stated that his Bank refused to honour a direct debit which was to have been paid to the Revenue Commissioners. The direct debit was presented for payment but was rejected by the Bank. The Complainant discovered, from[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]the Revenue Commissioners, that the direct debit had not been paid despite the Complainant having had sufficient funds in his account to meet the expected payment to the Revenue Commissioners. The Complainant stated that his accountant, and not the Bank, organised the re-presentation of the direct debit to the Revenue Commissioners. The Complainant stated that the Bank failed to meet a direct debit payment resulting in inconvenience and stress. The Complainant[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]as also p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]oncerned that [/FONT][FONT=&quot]the Bank would re-present a direct debit in contravention of the terms of the original direct debit mandate. The Bank apologised and stated the reason for the non-payment was that a direct debit had not been presented in over 13 months and thus any future direct debits were considered as being dormant and were not paid.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]id[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ng[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e, the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]bu[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s [/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]fie[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]hat the Bank had [/FONT][FONT=&quot]ac[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d [/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ll responsibility for the circumstances which had given rise to this dispute.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Bank explained that a dormancy rule which had been had been incorporated into its systems in error. This meant that if a direct debit had not been presented in over a year it was viewed as dormant and rejected if presented. The Ombudsman[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]
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[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]accepted that the process was [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]and occurred [/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]any [/FONT][FONT=&quot]hu[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman also appreciated that the subject matter of this complaint was attributable to an automatically generated computer error, but nevertheless noted that the Bank must take responsibility for the consequences of any such error, as the failure to implement a direct debit in accordance with its mandate can potentially, have serious consequences for the Bank’s customer.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman noted that the Bank did not pro-actively explain (once it became aware of the error) to the Complainant, that his original direct debit had not[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]be[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n processed and [/FONT][FONT=&quot]would have to be re-presented for payment to the Revenue Commissioners. While the Ombudsman accepted that the Bank eventually made its position clear, there was an obligation on the Bank to provide the Complainant with full information about its dealings with him in relation to the payment of the direct debit to the Revenue Commissioners. The Ombudsman was of the view that the Bank should have contacted the Complainant once it became aware of the failure[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]to make the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]me[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nt. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e failure by the Bank to immediately inform the Complainant of the issue had the potential to cause concern, anxiety and uncertainty for the Complainant who was informed by the Revenue Commissioners, of the failed direct debit payment.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman was satisfied that the conduct complained of did not have a financial impact on the Complainant but it was nevertheless the case that the Bank was responsible for creating the original problem and for failing to subsequently address the Complainant’s concerns when he raised same with the Bank. The Ombudsman found that the Bank was in breach of Chapter 1 (2) & (8)[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]of the Consumer Protection Code regarding the requirements to act with due skill, care and diligence in the best interests of its customers and to properly address complaints and he directed the Bank to pay the Complainant €200.[/FONT]
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
44,659
[FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Pa[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]tl[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y Substantiated[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]1 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Pensio[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n [/FONT][FONT=&quot]P[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint in this case related to the drawdown of a Retirement Pension. The complaint was that the Company had not processed the drawdown of the pension benefits in a timely manner.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]W[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]regard to drawdown [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of the pension, it was clear from the evidence submitted that there were a number of steps involved for the Complainant to avail of the pension benefits. Those steps involved the Complainant informing the Company[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]of when she wanted to take her pension, what way she wanted to take the pension and also involved the completion of a number of Forms. The following lapses by the Company were noted:[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]— [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Company wrote the Complainant 11 weeks prior to the retirement date.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]an [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r was sent. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Company was to revert to the[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r a further [/FONT][FONT=&quot]6 week period but did not.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]— [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Company was not able to deal with the Complainant’s telephone queries.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e that [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ephon[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e operator was not qualified [/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o [/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e advice.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]— [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nformed the Company [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of her option to take a taxed lump sum, it took 11 days for the Company to send the required forms for this option. The Complainant had to telephone the Company in the interim period regarding the delay.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]— [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e premiums ceased to be payable and the direct debit mandate for the premiums was cancelled, but the Company wrote to the Complainant requesting payment of premiums again. The Company later admitted that no further premiums were required and that this letter was sent in error.[/FONT]

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[FONT=&quot]— [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Whe[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n the Complainant made her complaint to the Company she did not receive a response until one month later. In the interim period the Company had[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d forms [/FONT][FONT=&quot]which the Company stated needed verification. This verification from a senior member of staff was received,[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t a further delay ensued. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Company stated that due to a high volume in applications the application was overlooked. The Company then advised the Complainant that it still needed her birth and marriage certificates. However, the Complainant had offered the birth and marriage certificates to the Advisor from the outset, but he had said they were not required.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman found that while some of the delays involved may have been contributed by postal delays and not all documentation was supplied by the Complainant when it should have been, he found that the Company could have communicated with the Complainant in a more timely and efficient manner. With regard to the provision of information to a consumer, the Ombudsman noted that under the Financial Regulator’s Consumer Protection Code a regulated entity must supply information to a consumer on a timely basis and in doing so the regulated entity must have regard to the following: (a) the urgency of the situation and (b) the time necessary for the consumer to absorb and react to the information provided.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]bu[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]F[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]di[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ng that in order to do justice between the parties the[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]any was to pay the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a compensatory [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]2 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]E[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nd[/FONT][FONT=&quot]owment [/FONT][FONT=&quot]P[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint in this case related to a Unit Linked Endowment Policy. The complaint related to [/FONT][FONT=&quot](i) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n 2007 and 2008 that the policy was[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n target to meet the mortgage repayment (by the maturity date the fund value had dropped by a substantial amount) [/FONT][FONT=&quot](ii) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]-[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of instructions to increase the level of cover and [/FONT][FONT=&quot](iii) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e delays [/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y the Company when communicating with the Complainant.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n the first issue, the Ombudsman found that the projections / estimates quoted by the Company over the years were not guarantees. The Company made this[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ar [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n all of its communications with the Complainant. The policy was unit linked. The value was determined by the value of the underlying assets in the unit funds. Guaranteed returns were never provided in the policy documentation or in any of the written communication sent to the Complainant. The volatile market conditions would have impacted on the performance of the policy.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n the second issue, the Ombudsman found that a request was made to alter the level of cover under the policy, but this was not implemented by the Company.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Company incorrectly advised the Complainant that this increase had not been requested. However, the Company later apologised for saying this and quoted a premium that would go to achieve the requested target amount. The Complainant did not take up the offer to increase the premium.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n the third issue, the Ombudsman found that there were delays by the Company when corresponding with the Complainant.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]bu[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]finding that on the substantive issue (i.e. the performance of the fund) that the complaint was not substantiated, but in relation to the non implementation of the increase in cover and the communication delays, the Ombudsman awarded the compensatory award.[/FONT]

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[FONT=&quot]3 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Cu[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ome[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r S[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant, who lives abroad, holds several accounts with the Bank.[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]2[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0[/FONT][FONT=&quot]7[/FONT][FONT=&quot], the Complainant visited the Bank’s Kildare branch to ensure that his accounts were in order. The Complainant produced his passport and driver’s licence to a Bank official who photocopied same. The Complainant was subsequently advised that his accounts were dormant and that he would have to present a utility bill, proof of address and identification documents to reactivate his accounts. The Complainant states he was never advised at any time before this that his accounts had been declared dormant. The Complainant was not satisfied with the Bank’s request that he present specified documents in order to reactivate his accounts. Furthermore, the Complainant stated that his accounts should not have been declared dormant as there were transactions on his accounts.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman was satisfied that the Complainant had provided substantial evidence which indicated that the Bank had failed to advise him of the possibility that his accounts could be declared dormant after only three years of no customer initiated transactions. The Ombudsman found that the Bank’s interpretation of[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]D[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]cc[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot],[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]2[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0[/FONT][FONT=&quot]1 was incorrect. In this regard, the Ombudsman referred the Bank to Section 2(1) of the Dormant Accounts Act, 2001 which defines dormancy as meaning a “period of not less than 15 years”. The Ombudsman noted that it was not that the Bank did not clearly explain the reason for declaring the Complainant’s accounts “Dormant”, it was more accurate to say that the Bank[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]id not provide the Complainant with an explanation as to why his accounts were declared dormant outside of the provisions of the Dormant Accounts Act, 2001.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]Having [/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]x[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]id[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot],[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n particular the terms and conditions of the Complainant’s accounts, the Ombudsman found that there was no provision stipulating that the Bank may declare an account “dormant” after a period of only 3 years. There was an absence of advance warning to a customer that their accounts could be declared dormant if there has not been a customer generated[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ac[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]within a [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of 3 years. The decision by the Bank to declare accounts[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]”[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r a [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of only three years was at variance with the provisions of the Dormant Accounts Act, 2001. Statutory provision is in place to declare accounts dormant and the Ombudsman found it inappropriate that a Bank would require an account holder to provide identification and proof of address merely because the account has not had a customer generated transaction for a period of 3 years.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman was of the opinion that it was prudent that the Bank monitors accounts for transaction activity and that it places dormant account flags on accounts. However, it is completely inappropriate to restrict access to an account in circumstances where the Bank has not put its customers on notice of the fact that accounts can be declared “dormant” (for internal Bank purpose only) where[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o customer initiated transactions have occurred for three years. It is of particular concern that the Bank would not advise its foreign resident customers (as is the case for the Complainant) that they may be required to produce identification and more importantly proof of address (i.e. a utility bill) if they wish to re-activate their accounts if there has not been a customer initiated transaction in the previous three years.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ul[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d have serious ramifications for a customer who requires access to their funds but does not have immediate access to identification or proof of address. The Ombudsman was of the opinion that the Bank failed to comply with Chapter[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]1 (2) of the Consumer Protection Code (regarding the requirement to act with due skill, care and diligence in the best interest of its customer) when it failed to advise the Complainant of the possibility that a dormant account restriction which is internal to the Bank could be applied to his account. The Ombudsman directed that the Bank increase its gesture of goodwill from €200 to €500.[/FONT]
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
44,659
[FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]N[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t Substantiated[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]1 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]V[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e personal [/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant entered into a personal loan agreement with the Bank for a sum of €25,000. The interest rate applied to her loan was variable but the monthly repayments were fixed at €600 over 48 months. Due to the fluctuations in the variable interest rate over the loan’s term there was a balance outstanding on the loan of €1,000 after the last fixed payment was made.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant made a complaint to the FSO stating that the Bank should have adjusted the monthly repayment amount to reflect the fluctuations in the interest rate. She stated that the Bank did not act in her best interests in that regard and referred to the Consumer Protection Code.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]examining the matter, the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]bu[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]k[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d at the terms of the loan agreement, the relevant regulatory codes and the Bank’s conduct. While the Ombudsman noted the Complainant’s points, he found that the terms and conditions were very clear; the interest rate could vary during the loan’s term and if this occurred the Bank could adjust the final repayment amount due or the number of repayments on the loan itself. The final repayment amount reflected the variable rate of interest that applied to the loan during its term.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman concluded that the terms and conditions were clear and straightforward. He found that the Bank was not being unreasonable in requesting the final payment, which was in accordance with the loan agreement, and the Complainant was on notice of the possibility when she signed up to the agreement.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]2 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Hou[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e related to a claim under a House [/FONT][FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]P[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]licy. The complaint was that the Company incorrectly repudiated a storm damage claim.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]or[/FONT][FONT=&quot]der to succeed [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n an insurance claim the policyholder must have notified the Insurer on discovery of the damage. Thereafter, it is necessary for the policyholder to prove that the loss or damage was caused by an insured event.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e here that having reported the claim to the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Company [/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]to [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nv[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n a prompt manner. This is alleged to have[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]eft the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]with [/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o option but to proceed with repairs to avoid further damage.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e that [/FONT][FONT=&quot]on[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e repair work had commenced the evidence of what caused the loss was interfered with. The Company argued that its position was prejudiced from the moment the builder commenced stripping the roof.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e policy provisions specifically stated that:[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]“[/FONT][FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e event [/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]f any occurrence which may give rise to a Claim Under This Policy[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]([/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]) the Insured shall forthwith notify the Company in writing with full particulars.”[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Policy further stated that:[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]“[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o [/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r as practicable no alteration or repair shall without the consent of the Company be made to any premises after any occurrence covered by this Policy until the Company shall have had an opportunity of making an inspection.”[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]

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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e damage was first discovered by the Complainants in late 2008 and remedial work was carried out on the roof then. In early 2009 the damage persisted and further remedial works were commenced. No contact was made with the Insurance Company on discovery of the initial damage or prior to the commencement of either repair work.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman found that by starting to repair the roof before an inspection by the Company prejudiced the Company’s ability to determine the cause of damage. The Company was not able to establish whether the damage was caused by the operation of an insured peril, or otherwise. The opportunity to inspect the roof as to the cause of damage was lost once the roof tiles were removed. The complaint was not substantiated.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]3 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]No[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n-disclosure [/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n proposal for Household Insurance[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint related to a home insurance policy incepted with the Company in August 2009. Two months after they took out the policy with the Company[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]w[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]g[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e pumping [/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]roke down requiring a new electric pump. They submitted a claim but were informed that the policy was deemed void from inception “due to a serious misstatement made in connection with the arranging of the...policy”. The complaint was that the Company’s decision to void the Complainants’ home insurance policy due to non-disclosure meant that they were unable to obtain cover elsewhere.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainants’ argued that they simply forgot to disclose a previous claim and believed that the Company’s behaviour in cancelling their policy was excessive. The Company’s case was that whilst the Complainants may have simply forgotten[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e previous claim [/FONT][FONT=&quot]when they proposed for cover, it still constituted non-disclosure of a material fact and it was therefore entitled to cancel the policy.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman noted that the Complainants completed a proposal form in August 2009. The proposal form contained a question about previous insurance history which asked in relation to property insurance specifically, had any of[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]had any [/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r issues in the past three years. The answer provided was ‘no’. The Complainants signed a proposal form and returned it to Company who set up the policy on the basis of the information contained in the proposal form.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e proposal form contained a warning to disclose material facts and that the failure to do so could invalidate the insurance. The Ombudsman pointed out that this complies with one of the fundamental doctrines of insurance, uberrimae fidei, i.e. utmost good faith in disclosing all facts. The Ombudsman also noted that the policy document states that the Company “will only have to make a payment under this policy if: [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]) [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]ll the answers in the proposal and declaration for this insurance[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e true and complete as far as you know and the proposal and declaration form the basis of the contract”.[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainants may not have remembered the claim at the time of proposal but this does not alter the fact that there was a non-disclosure of a material fact. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the Company was entitled under the contract of insurance to invalidate the policy as there was a non-disclosure of a material fact, that is, the previous claim. The complaint was not upheld.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman stated that as for the other insurers, it was a matter of commercial discretion whether or not they offered the Complainants a quote for home insurance.[/FONT]
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
44,659
[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]– [/FONT][FONT=&quot]G[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]P[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]y [/FONT][FONT=&quot]F[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]A[/FONT][FONT=&quot]pr[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l 2005, the Complainant invested €350,000 in the Bank’s Geared Property Fund . On 15 September 2005, the Complainant stated that her business partner/ associate received a telephone call from an Official from the Bank advising of “great news”, that the sale of Geared Property Fund was a “done deal” and that she “would receive a minimum 25% return after costs in the investment” and that he “had the next big fund ready for her to invest in”.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant asserted that it was on the strict understanding that the Geared Property Fund was a “done deal” that she invested €500,000 (by way of a 100% loan taken out with the Bank) in the Bank’s new Geared Property Fund (Second Fund). The Complainant stated that she understood that she would roll her original geared investment profit into the new second geared Fund. The Complainant was[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]adamant [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n her contention that under no circumstances would she have invested in the new geared fund unless the sale of the original geared fund was a “done deal”. The Complainant contended that she was mis-sold the second geared fund by[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]th[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Bank [/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n the basis of an alleged misrepresentation that the sale of the original geared fund was a “done deal”.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]Subsequent to the [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]’[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]nv[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n the second geared fund, the Complainant states that she was advised by the Bank that the sale of the original geared fund had not closed. Ultimately, the Complainant was of the view that the representation from the Bank was false and in breach of the Consumer Protection Code. In order to resolve this matter, the Complainant demanded that she be allowed exit the second geared Fund with repayment in full of his initial investment of €500,000 along with all interest monies paid by the Complainant on the[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]€[/FONT][FONT=&quot]5[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0,[/FONT][FONT=&quot]00[/FONT][FONT=&quot]0 loan to [/FONT][FONT=&quot]da[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot].[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]F[/FONT][FONT=&quot]rom the outset, the Ombudsman was satisfied that the Complainant had been provided with comprehensive documentation in relation to the investment in the second geared fund. Furthermore, the Ombudsman noted that that the[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]v[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]fic[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]x[/FONT][FONT=&quot]p[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of the second geared fund to enable her to make an informed decision as to whether or not the product was suitable for her specific needs. It was noted that the Complainant did not meet with the Bank during the cooling-off period to either query any of the details of the second geared fund or to advise that she would like to cancel her investment. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, the Ombudsman was compelled to conclude that the suitability of the sale of the second geared fund was assessed in the context of the Complainant’s recorded attitude to risk, investment objective, and affordability.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman noted that had the Complainant been advised that original geared fund was a “done deal” then she should have stipulated that her second investment was predicated on the sale of the original geared fund and if that did not take place, then her investment would be cancelled. The Ombudsman found that the course of dealing between the parties indicated that the Complainant did not act in reliance on the sale of the original investment in making the second investment. The Ombudsman considered that the evidence established that the Complainant voluntarily and freely decided to invest in the second geared fund and he was satisfied that that the features of investment were properly outlined in the documentation which was issued to the Complainant. The Complaint was not substantiated.[/FONT]

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[FONT=&quot]5 [/FONT][FONT=&quot]M[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]I[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]r[/FONT][FONT=&quot]a[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n[/FONT][FONT=&quot]c[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]C[/FONT][FONT=&quot]l[/FONT][FONT=&quot]aim burden [/FONT][FONT=&quot]o[/FONT][FONT=&quot]f proof in relation to a claim[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e complaint was that the Company would not make any offer in settlement of the Complainant’s motor insurance claim. The Complainant had her car insured with the Company. On 23rd October 2008, her car was burned out, outside her home[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]and she [/FONT][FONT=&quot]s[/FONT][FONT=&quot]u[/FONT][FONT=&quot]b[/FONT][FONT=&quot]m[/FONT][FONT=&quot]i[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]t[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e[/FONT][FONT=&quot]d[/FONT][FONT=&quot] [/FONT][FONT=&quot]a claim. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Company declined her claim stating that it was unable to verify the validity of the Complainant’s claim and therefore was not in a position to make any offer in settlement. The Company stated that it believed the Complainant had exaggerated her claim as she was unable to provide evidence[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]of the price she paid on purchase in January 2008. The Company referred to the conditions of the motor insurance contract with regard to exaggerated claims.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]he[/FONT][FONT=&quot]re were other issues with this particular case in that the Company claimed the Complainant did not have valid NCT at the time of the loss and was in breach of the policy conditions and that she failed to disclose the address at which the vehicle was normally kept, which constituted a non-disclosure of a material[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]f[/FONT][FONT=&quot]act. [/FONT][FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman stated that whilst it is a legal requirement to have a valid NCT Certificate, unless a motor insurance policy specifically references this requirement in the policy conditions, an insurer could not invalidate the policy on this basis alone, although the requirement of the policyholder to keep the vehicle “in a roadworthy condition” is a standard condition of motor insurance policies.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]O[/FONT][FONT=&quot]n the issue of the alleged non-disclosure, the Ombudsman found that the Complainant provided only a correspondence address and not the address at which the vehicle was normally kept despite being specifically asked this question on the proposal form. Accordingly, the Ombudsman found that the Complainant was in breach of the duty to disclose all material facts at proposal.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e substantive reason for the repudiation of the claim by the Company was based on its belief that the Complainant exaggerated the claim. The Company did not accept that the Complainant’s vehicle was purchased for €14,000 given that she had failed to provide proof of same and that the vehicle was a former Garda car which had been sold at auction 13 months earlier in December 2006 for the amount of €1,200.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant disputed that she exaggerated the claim and stated that she was unaware that the vehicle was an ex-Garda car. She explained why she did not have a receipt, namely, that she purchased the vehicle in a cash sale. The Complainant stated that she had new tyres fitted to the vehicle after purchasing it and provided[/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]a number [/FONT][FONT=&quot]of receipts as evidence that she spent approximately €1,700 on new tyres and extra features for the vehicle. The Complainant claimed for the cost of these additions to the vehicle in addition to the claimed value of €14,000.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Ombudsman pointed out that proof of loss is always a condition precedent to liability, whether expressly contained in the policy or not. The policyholder must prove that an insured peril has operated and that it has resulted in a loss. This means that, ultimately, the onus to prove a valid claim lies with the insured.[/FONT]
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[FONT=&quot]T[/FONT][FONT=&quot]h[/FONT][FONT=&quot]e Complainant was obliged under the terms and conditions of her motor insurance contract to support the validity of her claim. The Complainant did not provide sufficient evidence to support her claim by way of proof of purchase of the vehicle or other such proofs which would demonstrate that the claim was valid. In addition, the Ombudsman noted that she claimed that the vehicle was purchased at a figure more than 10 times the value which had been paid for it on the open market more than a year earlier. The complaint was not substantiated.[/FONT]
 
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