Financial Ombudsman outlines new procedure for resolving disputes over money swallowed by ATM

Since 2021 consumers of financial services who have a dispute with a bank over money swallowed by an ATM have been able to resolve it by appealing to the Financial Ombudsman Service, Chief Financial Ombudsman Yury Voronin said.

«As a rule, there is a certain algorithm for the consumer to act in such cases. However, if for some reasons the consumer has not managed to get their money back, the credit institution does not meet the consumer’s expectations, then the consumer has the right to appeal to the Financial Ombudsman Service, where the case will be considered free of charge and in a short time,» Yury Voronin said.

He reminded that resolution of disputes of property nature with the amount of claim not exceeding 500 thousand roubles between credit organizations and their clients (the aforementioned disputes as well) should be referred to the competence of the FOS as of January 1, 2021.

The Chief Financial Ombudsman said that the FOS can be contacted, for example, if money is not credited to an account when cash is deposited via an ATM, or if an ATM does not disburse money when cash is withdrawn.

However, to minimise contentious situations, Yury Voronin gave a number of recommendations that are easy to follow during banking transactions. «When depositing or withdrawing funds, you should always check the receipt, the account balance, without leaving the ATM. If, however, the ATM did not pay out money or did not credit, you need to report the fact to the «hotline» of the credit institution whose ATM was used by the consumer, without leaving the ATM itself. As a rule, the necessary information with telephone numbers is indicated on the cash machine itself,» Yury Voronin advises.

The Chief Financial Ombudsman noted that during the period from 1 January to 10 March 2021 the Financial Ombudsman Service received 1,816 appeals from customers of credit organizations. A significant part of the appeals concerned consumer loans (1,430, or 78.7%). Consumers of services of credit institutions appealed about disagreement with the amount (withholding) of fees for additional services, disagreement with the amount of interest or procedure for making payments, disagreement with the amount of penalty, violation of time limits for repayment of funds. Disputes related to bank accounts and transfers are on the second place in the number of requests (318, or 17.5%). Most often bank customers disagreed with the unjustified withholding or debiting of funds. Bank deposit disputes came third (64, or 3.5%), in which the common claim was the depositor’s disagreement with the amount of interest. The average amount claimed by the applicants in disputes with banks was 99,309 roubles.

Some appeals were not accepted by the Financial Ombudsman Service for consideration, including the reason for refusal of consideration was that the claimant had not made a claim to the financial institution in advance, as required by law. The main reason for this is the lack of awareness of the banks’ clients about the procedure for filing complaints. However, the law «On the Ombudsman for the Rights of Consumers of Financial Services» obliges financial institutions to inform consumers. A similar situation was observed at the start of establishing the institution for out-of-court dispute resolution when appeals from consumers of insurance services were dealt with. However, during 2019-2020 the situation improved considerably and the proportion of rejections due to breaches of the claim procedure by applicants has decreased in the total number of appeals.