Can I Make a Complaint?

Quick guide: How we handle complaints (PDF)

This office may investigate complaints made by eligible consumers against regulated Financial Service Providers. This page gives an outline as to who may or may not submit a complaint to this office.  For further information on the types of complaints this office may investigate you should read this section in conjunction with the ‘Who Can I Complaint about?’ and ‘What we Can and Cannot Investigate’. sections  The following section outlines who may submit a complaint to this office:

You may submit a complaint if you are:

  1. A private individual – personal policy/account holder
  2. A limited company
  3. Sole Traders
  4. Trusts
  5. Clubs
  6. Charities
  7. Partnerships

All complaints falling into categories 2-7 will need to submit the following with your application for the purpose of establishing the Financial Services Ombudsmanís jurisdiction on this matter.

  • Name and registered number (if applicable)
  • The annual turnover for the financial year prior to which the complaint is made to the Financial Services Ombudsman's Bureau;
  • A copy of the last set of audited financial statements;
  • A Complaint Form signed by two or more directors (if applicable).

You may not submit a complaint if :

  • You are a limited company with an annual turnover of more than  €3,000,000
  • Your complaint is against a third party insurer i.e. if you are in a road traffic accident and have a complaint about the handling of your claim by a third party’s insurance Provider. This is  due to data protection issues.

Important

  • One party of a joint policy/account – the second joint policy/account  holder will need to be notified of the Complaint and sign the Complaint Form
  • If the complaint is on behalf of a deceased person’s Estate – the Estate will need to submit a Grant of Probate or Letter of Administration to establish your legal entitlement to bring a complaint to this office before we may proceed.

Time limit

This office has a strict time limit of 6 years, imposed by Statute. As a result, no complaint can be made to this office if the conduct complained of occurred more that 6 years before the complaint is made. The Financial Services Ombudsman has no discretion to extend that time limit, so if the events that you wish to complain about, occurred 6 years (or almost 6 years) before submitting the complaint, a complaint may be time barred.
If a period of 6 years has almost elapsed, from the time of the conduct complained of, it will be important to make your complaint to this office as soon as possible.
It should be noted that Section 57 BX 3 (5) of the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland Act 2004, prescribes that
"A consumer is not entitled to make a complaint unless the consumer has previously communicated its substance to the regulated Financial Service Provider concerned and has given that Financial Service Provider a reasonable opportunity to deal with it."

Important - Please Note

In order to preserve time, if the events that you wish to complain about are close to the expiry of a 6 year period, you should contact this office to make the complaint (in writing) and advise of the circumstances. In these instances the complaint will then be registered by the Office, before the expiry of the 6 year period. You will then be referred back to the Provider to allow them an opportunity to address the complaint.
If you have any queries on this time limit please contact our office at 1890882090 or email enquiries@financialombudsman.ie.