The Financial Ombudsman Service and banking associations discussed the forthcoming cooperation between banks and the FOS

The Financial Ombudsman Service and representatives of banking associations held a working meeting on issues related to cooperation between credit institutions and the Financial Ombudsman.

According to Olga Kraynova, the head of the Ombudsman for financial services consumers support Service (OFSC), complaints of financial services consumers against credit organizations will be considered by the FOS, starting from 1 January 2021, and banks will be obliged to implement the Financial Ombudsman’s decisions.

During the meeting, Olga Kraynova told the representatives of banking associations about the institute of out-of-court resolution of disputes and the features of complaint consideration, regulatory documents governing the activities of the FOS, the way of interaction between financial institutions and the Financial Ombudsman Service. The latter is carried out exclusively in electronic form through the credit institution’s Personal Account on the FOS website.

The Head of the OFSC emphasised that law regulates that it is the financial institutions that are obliged to organise interaction with the FOS. The Service, in turn, provides all the necessary infrastructure to organise such interaction. The procedure for organising interaction, including the procedure for providing the credit institution’s Personal Account on the FOS website, is set out in the OFSC newsletter. The newsletter states, in particular, that in order for a financial institution to receive a reliable and prompt access to the Personal Account, it must inform the OFSC of the bank’s current email address by 31.12.2020 by sending the relevant information to the OFSC email address at support@finombudsman.ru.

During the meeting, the parties also discussed individual issues of cooperation between banks and the Financial Ombudsman Service and the procedure for considering consumers’ complaints. Olga Kraynova expressed her readiness to create a working group at the FOS with the participation of banks to discuss technical issues of cooperation between credit institutions and the FOS, as well as issues concerning the procedure for considering consumers’ complaints.

Olga Kraynova explained the principle of calculation of contribution rates, noting that this issue would be further discussed with the banking community. “Since in case of satisfaction of consumer claims by the FOS, the financial institution must pay the contribution to the Fund for financing the FOS activities, it is beneficial for banks to settle all disputes with their customers at the claim stage. Insurance companies are now increasingly trying to follow this approach, although the number of complaints to the Financial Ombudsman in this regard is still high. Motivating financial institutions to settle disputes with consumers at the claim stage is one of the main tasks facing the FOS as an institution,” Olga Kraynova says.

In October, the Financial Ombudsman Service holds a webinar for credit institutions on how banks should interact with the Service. Information on the date of the online event, as well as any other information on the procedure for interaction with the Financial Ombudsman, can be found on the FOS website at www.finombudsman.ru.