RegSol Blog


FSPO ‘Overview of Complaints 2021’

May 2022

The FSPO is an independent and impartial service provided for free to resolve complaints made by consumers in respect of regulated financial service providers and pension providers. Complaints made to the FSPO are resolved either through informal mediation or a formal investigation and adjudication process, which concludes with the issuing of a legally binding decision.

The FSPO recently published its report on the Overview of Complaints 2021 (the Report). The Report details the trends in the 4,658 complaints received by the FSPO and in particular, highlights the increase in complaints made to its office about poor customer service from financial service providers.

The Report notes that 23% of complaints made to the FSPO were complaints about poor customer service from financial services providers and further noted that a more responsive service from these providers could avoid the level of complaints from arising.


Insurance

After the banking sector, the second largest category of complaints related to insurance products. Complaints relating to this sector amounted to 27% of all complaints received by the FSPO in 2021. The Report notes that the two categories of insurance products most complained about in 2021 were Motor Insurance and Health, Accident and Dental insurance policies.

The top 5 insurance conducts complained of were as follows:

  • Claim handling – 26% (down from 27% in 2020)
  • Rejection of Claim – 25% (up from 10% in 2020)
  • Customer Service – 15% (up from 4% in 2020)
  • Maladministration – 8% (the same figure as 2019)
  • Refusal to give product/service – 7%

The Report acknowledged that COVID-19 related business interruption claims were exceptionally difficult for many businesses however the Report also noted that the success of the claim is dependent on the cover provided under the policy. The report highlighted the importance of the wording within each policy as this will be determinative of whether a business would be covered for business interruption claims or not. In some of the complaints received, full indemnity was provided, whereas in others, there was none.


Investments

Complaints in relation to investments were the third largest category of complaint received by the FSPO in 2021. Personal pension products represented the largest portion of these complaint types, at 35%, closely followed by online share dealing at 30% of all investment complaints.

The Report also notes the growing complexity of products (e.g. Crypto currency investments) making it increasingly difficult for some consumers to understand precisely who they are dealing with or who they are agreeing a contract with, when they are purchasing financial services or pension products


Outcome

Firms should ensure that they are meeting the highest levels of consumer protection standards, both in terms potential FSPO engagement and complying with the Central Bank of Ireland Consumer Protection Code 2012.

For any queries on how RegSol can support you in ensuring appropriate consumer protection measures and complaints handling procedures are in place in your entity, please contact us at info@regsol.ie



Useful links:
Overview of Complaints 2021 (fspo.ie)