The working procedure of the Financial Ombudsman Service for the period until April 30, 2020

In accordance with the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation dated 02.04.2020 No. 239 “On measures to ensure the sanitary and epidemiological well-being of the population in the Russian Federation in connection with the spread of a new coronavirus infection (COVID-19)”, days from 04.04.2020 to 30.04.2020 are non-working days for financial ombudsmen and staff of the OFSC.

Based on Clause 4 of the Decree of the Mayor of Moscow dated 05.03.2020 No. 12-УM “On the Introduction of High Availability” (the version of 05.04.2020), the Chief Financial Ombudsman and the head of OFSC made decisions not to restrict the activities of financial ombudsmen and the OFSC in the specified period. The OFSC staff and financial ombudsmen who were not involved in providing continuous technological and other processes necessary for the organization to operate were transferred to a remote mode of operation. These decisions were made in order to maximize the continuity of processes for protecting the rights of consumers of financial services.

Despite the current situation, from April 6, 2020 to April 30, 2020, the Financial Ombudsman Service will receive and consider complaints from consumers of financial services, and will make decisions based on the results of consideration of complaints. An exception can only be made for consumer disputes with financial organizations that do not carry out their activities during the indicated period and do not ensure the provision of documents and information at the request of the Financial Ombudsman Service. The consideration of this category of cases will be completed by the financial ombudsmen after the end of the established regime of non-working days.

During an unfavourable epidemiological situation, in order to limit the spread of the coronavirus infection, the OFSC recommends that consumers of financial services send electronic complaints through the consumer’s personal account on the Financial Ombudsman Service website.

During the mentioned period, only personal reception of citizens and personal reception of correspondence at the OFSC premises were terminated.

If consumers of financial services have questions related to the submission of complaints, they can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service Contact Centre by phone 8(800)200-00-10 (Monday – Friday from 09:00 to 21:00 Moscow time, all calls from Russian regions are free of charge).

Besides, the decisions of the financial ombudsmen taken from 30.03.2020 to 30.04.2020 will come into effect taking into account the specificity of the current legislation. The term of entry into effect for the decision of the Financial Ombudsman Service, adopted as a result of consideration of the complaint, is set in working days (10 working days) in Paragraph 1 of Article 23 of the Federal Law “On the Ombudsman for the Rights of Consumers of Financial Services”. In accordance with the Decrees of the President of the Russian Federation of 25.03.2020 No. 206 and of 02.04.2020 No. 239, days from 30.03.2020 to 30.04.2020 are non-working. In this regard, in the event that the decision of the Financial Ombudsman Service based on the results of the consideration of the consumer’s complaint was made in the period from March 30, 2020 to April 30, 2020, its effective date will begin to be calculated since the first working day coming after 30.04.2020. In accordance with applicable laws, this day is 06.05.2020. The interaction of the Financial Ombudsman Service with financial organizations when considering complaints from consumers of financial services, as before, is being carried out through a personal account on the official website of the financial representative.

In order to carry out properly the functions assigned to the institution of the Financial Ombudsman Service, the OFSC recommends that financial institutions not suspend interaction with the Financial Ombudsman Service when considering complaints from consumers of financial services during the specified period, as well as voluntarily execute decisions of the Financial Ombudsman Service in the absence of grounds for appealing against them in a judicial proceeding.