Did you know that your financial services provider is required to accept, process and document your complaint? Complaints are important feedback for companies!
Are you dissatisfied about a product or service from your bank, insurance company or investment firm, and are you wondering what you should do? Your first step should always be to address a complaint in writing to the affected company, to find a tailored solution with them for your problem.
How do you complain?
Irrespective of whether you want to complain physically at their business premises, or by telephone or e-mail, your financial services provider is required to hear your complaint. Financial services providers are required to provide information on their website about how to submit a complaint, which unit processes it, roughly how long the processing time will be, as well as to whom you may turn once the complaints procedure has been concluded, in the event that you are still dissatisfied.
Duties of the financial services provider
- All evidence and information related to your complaint must be collected and checked.
- The company must communicate with you in a clear, unambiguous and understandable manner.
- You must receive a response without undue delay.
- In the event that the processing takes a longer period of time, the company is required to inform you about the reasons for the delay, and inform you about when you can expect to receive an answer.
- If the financial services provider is unable to meet your demands, the reason for rejecting them must be well-founded, and they must provide you with a point of contact for addressing your complaint further.
- Points of contact include the mediation panel for the Austrian banking industry (Schlichtungsstelle der Österreichischen Kreditwirtschaft), the complaints unit in the Federal Ministry of Health, Care, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection (Sozialministerium), the ombud for the trade association for financial services providers (Ombudsstelle des Fachverbands Finanzdienstleister) etc.
What is the FMA’s role?
The FMA checks whether licensed entities duly observe their duties with regard to complaints procedures. Financial services providers are required to document complaints, analyse them and as a bare minimum to report the number of complaints to the FMA. In this way, as the supervisory authority, we receive an overview of the issues around which problems exist in the financial market. The findings that we gain in this way are an important basis for our supervisory and inspection activities, and contribute towards collective consumer protection.
European Supervisory Authorities:
EBA:European Banking Authority
ESMA:European Securities and Markets Authority
EIOPA:European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority