Customer protection aims at relevant and lawful provision of services
When problem situations arise, it is always advisable to first turn to the service provider whose operations you are dissatisfied with. If your contact with the service provider does not yield the desired result and your case concerns banking, insurance and investment matters, you can turn to the Financial Ombudsman Bureau (FINE) which provides advisory services and handles disputes with the service provider on behalf of the customer, as necessary.
This section provides information on places to contact for help and advice if you run into a problem with your service provider or if you feel you have obtained wrong or incomplete information. You will also find information on the responsibilities of the customer and the service provider, institutions to turn for assistance, what channels to use when appealing decisions already made as well as on the supervision provided by various authorities.
Areas covered by customer protection
Customer protection aims at ensuring that services provided are relevant and in accordance with the law. Customer protection consists of the following
- obligations imposed on the service provider by law
- customer’s own responsibilities
- common code of conduct and good market practice
- supervision by authorities.
FIN-FSA and customer protection
The Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) supervises service providers’ conduct of business concerning customer relations, which must comply with laws and good practice. Through supervision, FIN-FSA aims to promote customers’ confidence in the functioning of the markets and the service providers operating in these markets. Customers must be able to rely on service providers complying with sound practices in their marketing, contractual terms and other contacts with customers.
FIN-FSA conduct of business supervision includes both ex ante and ex post supervision. Ex ante supervision covers for instance the provision of various regulations guiding codes of conduct, and approval of investment fund rules. Ex post supervision includes the monitoring of service providers’ marketing and advertising as well as inspections on selected topics. However, FIN-FSA is not empowered to mediate disputes between supervised entities and customers, such as those relating to compensation decisions or liability to pay damages.
In addition to FIN-FSA, several other authorities also supervise financial sector service providers. With regard to consumer customers, the Consumer Ombudsman has parallel powers with FIN-FSA.
20 September 2012