Financial Supervisory Authority
The role of the Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) is to promote compliance with good business practice in the financial markets and to keep the public well informed about the financial markets. The objective is to ensure that supervised entities' business practices are pertinent and that any information they issue to their customers is of good quality. The supervisory measures used are primarily proactive – for example guidelines and regulations, designed to steer supervised entities' operations and operating practices – as well as the inspections used as post-operative controls.
The Financial Supervisory Authority is interested in the problems arising between customers and service providers (for example banks, insurance companies, investment firms). Contact from customers can bring to light some of the more common problems affecting a particular supervised entity or supervised entities in general, which FIN-FSA can then take into account in its supervisory activities.
However, FIN-FSA is not vested with the powers to solve private juridical disputes between customers' and service providers, such as disagreements over an obligation to pay damages or the contents of an insurance claim decision. In matters such as these, it is worth first contacting the service provider concerned and, should the matter still not be resolved, making contact with the Finnish Financial Ombudsman (FINE). Along with The Finnish Consumer Agency and the Federation of Finnish Financial Services, FIN-FSA is a contractual party with FINE, thus enabling it access to information to problem situations arising in the financial markets.
Contact with the Financial Supervisory Authority can be made by phone or in writing.
The FIN-FSA consumer helpline for the users of banking, insurance and investment services offers information on the business practices expected of those operating in the financial markets.
The helpline is available Tuesdays 9–10 a.m. and Thursdays 2–3 p.m. Call 0800 05099 (free of charge, within Finland).
Should you feel that any business practice you experience has not been in compliance with the regulations, you may turn to FIN-FSA for assistance. However, FIN-FSA is not vested with the powers to solve private juridical disputes between customers' and service providers, such as disagreements over the payment of damages or a dispute over the contents of an insurance claim decision. It is also important to remember that correspondence from a customer to FIN-FSA is not the equivalent of an appeal, as prescribed by legislation, nor does it have the effect of extending the appeal time.
Correspondence from customers addressed to the Financial Supervisory Authority is usually forwarded to the financial service provider concerned (for example bank, insurance company, investment firm or credit institution) in order that they may respond. As supervised entities of FIN-FSA these financial service providers are obliged to also submit a copy of their response to the Supervisory Authority. This enables FIN-FSA to monitor the supervised entity and ensure that they respond to the correspondence with due care and appropriateness.
In terms of the control of supervised entities and their supervision, the main issues are handled by FIN-FSA. In these cases, FIN-FSA requests an explanation from the supervised entity, regarding the issue and then replies to the initial correspondence.
Correspondence regarding a complaint may be free form and should express as clearly as possible the following:
- The supervised entity, in other words the service provider whose operations it concerns,
- An explanation of the business practice or operations in question,
- The grounds on which the writer sees that the guidelines or regulations have been breached or for which there is cause for complaint,
- Whether the complaint is also being handled elsewhere (for example by the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau or by some other board or court),
- Whether the writer wishes to receive a written response from FIN-FSA or if the correspondence is merely informative and
- The writer's name, address, telephone number and email address, if available.
Generally, complaints addressed to FIN-FSA are public, except for details within the complaint that are protected by secrecy by protection of information legislation (for example details regarding a person's health, status as job applicant or salary information). In the course of investigating the matter, the supervised entity is also usually informed of the complaint. The Financial Supervisory Authority does not take any action based on correspondence sent anonymously.
FIN-FSA does not make any charge for dealing with correspondence relating to complaints and the like. Correspondence concerning complaints should be addressed to the FIN-FSA register, to one of the following
- by post to: Financial Supervisory Authority, Register Office, P.O. Box 103, 00101 Helsinki, Finland
- by fax to: +358 10 831 5328
- by email to: kirjaamo(at)fiva.fi
Correspondence may also be delivered by hand, to the Financial Supervisory Authority at Snellmaninkatu 6, Helsinki. For reasons of information protection and the right to privacy, we do not recommend email in such cases that the correspondence contains confidential information.
28 March 2013