Financial Services and Pensions Ombudsman Act 2017

Powers of Ombudsman in relation to investigation of complaint

47. (1) Other than in respect of a complaint specified in section 44 (2), the Ombudsman may conduct an investigation into a complaint referred to him or her.

(2) The Ombudsman shall keep the parties to the complaint informed as to the progress of the investigation.

(3) In conducting an investigation, the Ombudsman may—

(a) require any person, who in the opinion of the Ombudsman, is in possession of information, or has a document or thing in his or her power or control, that is relevant to the investigation, to—

(i) provide to him or her that information, either orally or in writing,

(ii) produce to him or her that document or a copy of the document,


(b) require any person to attend before him or her, either voluntarily or by way of summons, and be examined on oath in relation to any matter, including to produce a document or copy of a document referred to in paragraph (a)(ii), that appears to the Ombudsman to be relevant to the investigation.

(4) The Ombudsman shall give notice of a requirement under subsection (3) either orally or in writing and shall specify in the notice—

(a) the information or document required,

(b) the date by which the information or document is required, and

(c) the place at which attendance, if any, is required.

(5) Subject to any regulations made under section 4 , the procedure for the making of complaints and the conduct of investigations shall be such as the Ombudsman considers appropriate in all the circumstances of the case, and he or she may, in particular, obtain information from such persons and in such manner, and make such enquiries, as he or she thinks fit.

(6) When investigating a complaint about the conduct of a financial service provider or a pension provider, the Ombudsman may, at any reasonable time—

(a) enter and inspect any business premises occupied or used by the financial service provider or the pension provider, or by any other body or person who is associated with that provider, and

(b) inspect any document or thing in or on the premises.

(7) If a document is kept in a non-legible form, the Ombudsman may request the person who appears to be in charge of the document to reproduce it in a legible form or to provide to the Ombudsman such information as the Ombudsman reasonably requires in relation to that document.

(8) Without prejudice to the powers conferred by this Part, the Ombudsman shall, for the purposes of an investigation under this section, have all the powers, rights and privileges vested in the High Court or a judge of that court on the hearing of civil proceedings in respect of the examination of witnesses, including the administration of oaths and affirmations and the examination of witnesses outside the State.

(9) Subject to this Part, a person to whom a requirement is addressed under this section shall be entitled to the same immunities and privileges as if he or she were a witness before the High Court.

(10) Information provided by a person in response to a requirement under subsection (3), or an answer to a question put to a person in the course of a requirement under subsection (3), is not admissible as evidence against that person in criminal proceedings other than in respect of perjury or an offence committed under section 59 .

(11) Nothing in this section shall require any person to provide information or produce a document, or a copy of a document, the communication of which is subject to legal professional privilege.