Chief Financial Ombudsman takes part in a session of the Presidium of the Russian Banks Association

An analysis of appeals from consumers of financial services submitted for the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) consideration in the period from 01.01.2021 till 18.04.2021 shows that a significant part of disputes of citizens with banks is connected with issues of bona fide performance of conditions of contracts by credit organizations regarding order of repayment of loans and changing of interest rates, as Chief Financial Ombudsman Yury Voronin informed at the session of the Presidium of the Russian Banks Association.

Citizens also appeal against the remote theft of funds and personal data through the use of electronic computer equipment and telecommunications networks. Another problem that consumers have been addressing to the Financial Ombudsman is the problem with financial services provided both by banks themselves and by third parties, such as insurance companies, through the intermediary of credit institutions. For example, the actual terms and conditions of transactions are withheld from citizens during the legal processing of services, and there is also abuse of consumers’ financial incompetence by financial institutions.

The largest share in the total number of appeals is taken by those containing claims related to the conclusion of insurance contracts when granting consumer loans, including the accession of borrowers to collective insurance contracts. When considering this category of appeals the Financial Ombudsman satisfied the claims of consumers in 20% of cases. In 65% of cases the FOS refused the claims and in another 15% of cases the claims were not considered due to consumers’ non-compliance with the procedure for filing appeals.

Also, a significant share of the total number of appeals against credit institutions is represented by requests for recovery of funds debited by banks without consumers’ instructions (actions of third parties, telephone fraud, compromised personal account data, compromised bank card data).

The Chief Financial Ombudsman also drew the attention of the banking community to the need to improve the culture of interaction between credit institutions and the institution of out-of-court dispute resolution in the financial market. For instance, as of 20.04.2021 only 281 out of 384 banks included into the Register of Entities obliged to organize interaction with the FOS in compliance with the applicable legislation, activated their personal accounts on the FOS website. In a number of cases, there is also a lack of monitoring on the part of credit institutions of the receipt of requests sent through personal accounts and, as a result, failure to comply with the legally established deadlines for responding to these requests.