Thursday, 6 November 2008
Dáil Eireann Debate
91. Deputy Jimmy Deenihan asked the Minister for Finance if he has received a request to instruct the Financial Regulator to investigate alleged overcharging by a company (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39022/08]
Minister for Finance (Deputy Brian Lenihan): I might first explain that the function of the Minister for Finance is to provide an appropriate and robust legislative framework for regulation of the financial services sector with a particular focus on the consumer. The establishment of the Financial Regulator and the Financial Services Ombudsman in 2003 and 2005 respectively means that such a framework is now in place. It provides, with effect from their establishment, for both strengthened supervision of financial service providers and a forum to which complaints about the actions of financial service providers may be addressed.
In dealing with the Deputy’s specific question, I am aware that allegations of overcharging have been made against certain financial institutions. Indeed the issue was fully aired at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Economic and Regulatory Affairs in May 2008. I am aware that certain allegations of overcharging have been resolved through the intervention of the Financial Regulator and other cases have been investigated by the Financial Services Ombudsman.
As the Deputy will be aware, I do not comment on individual cases. Furthermore, as Minister for Finance, I have no role in relation to the investigation of alleged overcharging by any financial services body. However, I continue to oversee the effectiveness of the financial regulations already in place to deal with allegations of irregularity and intervene, if necessary, to improve the effectiveness of these regulations.
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