//New Act takes heed of Supreme Court’s comments in Gallagher v. ACC Bank Plc

New Act takes heed of Supreme Court’s comments in Gallagher v. ACC Bank Plc

The enactment of the Central Bank and Financial Services Authority of Ireland (Amendment) Act 2017 (“the Act”) on 25 July 2017, has served to increase protection to consumers of pensions and long term financial services, a reform which was encouraged by the Supreme Court in Gallagher v. ACC Bank Plc t/a ACC Bank

[2012] IESC 35.

In the said case the potential injustice under previous legislation was highlighted, whereby a complainant only had six years from the date of the financial services conduct complained of to make a complaint to the Financial Services Ombudsman (“FSO”), regardless of whether they were aware that they actually had a complaint. This resulted in a number of cases where, by the time the complainant had knowledge of their complaint against the financial service or pension provider, the limitation period for submitting same had expired.

Under the Act, the timeframe for making a complaint has been broadened and a complainant can now complain to the FSO within whichever of the following periods is last to expire:-

  1. Six years from the date of the conduct concerned; or
  2. Three years from the earlier of the date on which the person making the complaint became aware, or ought reasonably to have become aware, of the conduct concerned.

To bolster the protection, the FSO also has the power to allow for a longer period of time, where it appears that there are reasonable grounds for doing so.

In terms of providers of long term financial services, the definition under the Act includes services where:-

  1. The actual or intended duration of the service is five years and one month or more;
  2. Life Assurance to which the EC (Life Assurance) Framework Regulations 1994 apply.

As a result many providers of insurance products will be affected and therefore such companies should take note of the erosion of the statute defence when dealing with disgruntled consumers.

If you would like to discuss any of the issues outlined, please do not hesitate to contact Aoife Skehan, Associate Solicitor, or Harry Fehily, Managing Partner.

2018-11-13T10:46:53+00:00September 6th, 2017|Latest News|

About the Author:

Aoife Skehan is a Senior Associate Solicitor in our litigation department and joined the firm in 2008 having completed her training and worked with a large Dublin-based practice. Aoife practises […]

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