Since the Financial Services Act (FinSA) came into force on 1 January 2020, you, as a customer of a financial services provider, can now take advantage of an ombudsman procedure. For this purpose, financial service providers must join an official ombudsman service. These ombudsman offices must be recognised by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF). The Association of Financial Services providers (OFD) was granted approval in January 2020.
By answering the following questions, we will guide you through the inquiry process. In this way we ensure that only justified inquiries are forwarded to the ombudsman in the correct form:
The majority of customers first seek advice on the phone. Most of these requests can be handled directly. A factual situation or an incomprehensible procedure is explained. For more difficult cases, the customer should submit his dossier. In most cases, the ombudsman asks the financial services provider for a supplementary opinion in order to be able to form as comprehensive and objective a judgement as possible.
In order to arrive at a proposed solution, the ombudsman can do everything he deems necessary to freely form his own opinion. To this end, he may also obtain files and information from the financial services provider responsible.
The ombudsman cannot influence financial service providers in matters of business and tariff policy. For example, he is not allowed to object to a fee tariff for services.
It may also happen that a particular case is not suitable for ombudsman proceedings and the ombudsman will ask the customer to take the matter directly to the ordinary courts.
In addition, the ombudsman declares himself not to be competent for abstract legal and economic issues and does not prepare expert opinions.
The ombudsman procedure usually takes one to two months. Simpler cases can also be dealt with within a shorter period. With increasing complexity, a procedure may take longer.
The customer’s intervention with the ombudsman does not interrupt the course of the normal legal periods (statute of limitations, etc.).