The number of appeals to the FOS is back on the pre-quarantine level

Consumers of financial services mailed 41,165 complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service within the second quarter of 2020, which is 16% less than in the first quarter (49,023), said Olga Kraynova, Head of “The Ombudsman for Financial Services Consumers’ Support Service”.

“The decrease in the number of complaints in the second quarter was expected. In April–May, due to the restrictions imposed by the coronavirus pandemic, there was a significant drop in the number of complaints. However, in June, when the epidemiological situation improved in comparison with the previous months, we registered an increase in complaints, with their number actually returning to the pre-quarantine level,” says Olga Kraynova.

In June 2020, consumers of financial services mailed 15,731 complaints to the Financial Ombudsman Service, which is 22.9% more than their number in May (12,799).

According to the head of “The Ombudsman for Financial Services Consumers’ Support Service”, the distribution of objects of complaints in June remained unchanged. The leading position is still occupied by disputes related to indemnification under MTPL insurance agreements (82.9%, or 13,046), of which the majority (37.4%, or 2,675) is related to consumer disagreement with the amount of insurance indemnity. The second place in the number of complaints is occupied by life insurance (5.9%, or 927). In disputes over life insurance, consumers most often filed claims for the return of the insurance premium upon termination of the insurance contract (3.4%, or 534). Disputes related to insurance against accidents and illnesses took the third place in the number of complaints for the first time (3.8%, or 595), of which most of the complaints were related to the return of the insurance premium upon termination of the insurance contract.

56 complaints were received in June in relation to the microfinance institutions. “The main reason for the dispute is the non-refund of the MFI fees for additional services,” notes Olga Kraynova.

The average sum of applicants’ claims amounted to 213,791 rubles in insurance disputes, and 13,272 rubles in disputes against the microfinance institutions.

Based on the results of consideration of consumer complaints in June, the financial ombudsmen took 10,237 decisions.

“Some of the complaints in June were not accepted for consideration by the FOS for various procedural reasons stipulated by law, the main of which is still consumers’ non-compliance with the mandatory claim procedure. Thus, in 2,819 cases, consumers had not submitted a claim to the insurance company in advance. The service conducts constant explanatory work among consumers of financial services, thanks to which the share of such complaints is lower than at the initial stage of the FOS formation. At the same time, I think it expedient and very important that consumers should be informed directly by financial companies both during the conclusion of the contract and in the process of servicing consumers,” Olga Kraynova sums up.

The obligation is established by the Federal Law “On the Ombudsman for the Rights of Consumers of Financial Services” to inform consumers wherever the services are provided, including those on the official websites of financial institutions.

Detailed statistics of complaints for the 2nd quarter of 2020 are available in the report.