Chairman's Remarks: Details of the Tribunal’s workload over the past 12 months are set out in this report. The Tribunal has continued to be very busy with cases becoming more complex and taking up more Tribunal time. The Tribunal is also dealing with a lot of Complaints which involve Secondary Complainers who have made claims for compensation. There have again been a large number of cases involving the Council on Mortgage Lenders Handbook. It is hoped that members of the profession take time to read these decisions and be reminded of their obligations in terms of the Handbook. The Tribunal is receiving an increasing number of Appeals under section 42ZA by Lay Complainers who often have difficulty in framing their Appeal in a structured and relevant way. The Tribunal accordingly has prepared guidance for Lay Complainers to try to assist them with this.
The Tribunal Findings continue to be put on the Tribunal website which can be accessed at www.ssdt.org.uk The Tribunal experienced technical difficulties with its website during the year owing to the age of the website. A temporary website is now in place and the Tribunal is working towards having a new website in operation in 2015.
Tribunal hearings are held in public, usually at The Scotsman Hotel, Edinburgh. Forthcoming Tribunal hearings are detailed on the diary part of the website.
The report takes a slightly different form this year, highlighting some interesting issues which have arisen in cases during the year rather than summarising all the cases. Given that the Tribunal has decided to issue its report electronically only this year, it has been possible to add in Appendices at the end of the report providing summaries of all the cases listed under case type.
John Anderson, Sophia Ayre, Mark Irvine and Monojit Chatterji, extremely valuable and experienced lay members, retired from the Tribunal as at 31 December 2013 as their terms of appointment came to an end. Their contributions will be missed. The Tribunal welcomed five new lay members and three new solicitor members in January 2014. These members have already proved themselves to be valuable additions to the Tribunal and I look forward to working with them.
I continue to be assisted by my Vice Chairmen, all the Tribunal members, the Tribunal Clerk, the Depute Clerks and the Tribunal secretaries and I would like to thank them for all their help and support during the year.
Alistair M Cockburn
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