Pre-trial disputes between individuals and banks, non-state pension funds (NPFs), pawnshops and consumer credit cooperatives are now considered by the financial ombudsperson. This law came into force on 1 January 2021. Before that, the financial ombudsperson dealt with claims against insurance companies and microfinance organisations.
The financial ombudsperson considers property claims of individuals against a financial institution in the amount of up to 500 thousand rubles. An individual must appeal to the financial ombudsperson before going to court, but first, they should try to settle the dispute with the company by sending a claim to it directly. Settlement of disputes with NPFs related to illegal transfers between funds is out of the scope of the ombudsperson’s authority.
An individual can appeal to the financial ombudsperson free of charge, whereas market participants who are obliged to interact with the financial ombudsperson pay for each consumer inquiry. The payment amount depends on the financial ombudsperson’s decision: the company pays the minimum fee if it wilfully complies with the consumer’s request or if the ombudsperson takes the company’s side. However, if the ombudsperson decides to support the consumer, the company pays the maximum amount. Both the consumer and the company may appeal the financial ombudsperson’s decision in court.
The institution of the financial ombudsperson was established to improve the effectiveness of consumer rights protection in financial services and to decrease the number of legal disputes between companies and their clients. Thus, the insurance market saw a 40% decline in the number of such disputes related to compulsory motor third-party liability insurance (OSAGO) and motor hull insurance in 2019.
This news item was originally published by the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR RU). For more information, see the Source Link.