annual report 2014 - Malta Financial Services Authority

... role of the Consumer Complaints manager (miFID and the PSD, for example). ...... who was seeking assurances of capital guarantees, exchanged several emails ...... maltese bank then acted upon the instructions received and converted the ...
723KB Sizes 0 Downloads 156 Views
A

C

O

N

N

N

S

U

U

M

A

E

R

L R

C

O

E

M

P

P

L

O

A

I

R

N

T

T

S

2

0

U

N

1

I

4

T

CONTENTS Chairman’s Statement

3

Responsibilities of the Consumer Complaints Unit

5

Core principles for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes in practice

9

Complaints’ handling – An overview

11

International Participation

13

Reporting of complaints and enquiries

18

Review of complaints

21

Appendices 39

2

Consumer Complaints Unit - Annual Report 2014

Chairman’s Statement Over the course of the years, since the office of the Consumer Complaints Manager has been setup, I could not but observe a common trait which underlies the various cases handled by the Unit. Behind each and every complaint there is a human element, in some cases a truly touching story. A complaint could feature circumstances of a person who feels aggrieved by a situation which, despite his best efforts, ended up badly or which failed to meet his needs or expectations. There could be situations where the person is suffering as a result of a situation over which he had no control or feels powerless to challenge a situation which resulted through no fault of his own. In some cases, the complainant might not have suffered any pecuniary loss but still feels aggrieved because the system ended up giving him a sour deal. In other situations, the complainant could well be suffering from a huge financial loss which might have resulted from a collapse of a financial investment or a serious injury following a car accident. When reporting cases in annual reports, we have to be very careful to preserve the identity of the person complaining and the licence holder against whom the case is lodged. However, the key elements of the complaint have always remained unaltered. The purpose of documenting complaints in the annual report is to give a flavour of the different types of situations the Unit comes across. They are not likely to highlight the grievance which some complainants endure or the frustration which they experience, and which brought them to make a complaint with the Authority. Even though, statistically, a number of cases are not upheld, the procedures followed by the Unit to investigate complaints reflect the Authority’s commitment to maintain its dispute resolution mechanism impartial throughout the whole investigation process and that all parties concerned are given every opportunity to put forward their opinion. More importantly, however, is the fact that the redress mechanism gives dignity to the complainant and provides him/her with a detailed assessment of the review undertaken into the complaint, whether upheld or not. Indeed, even if complainants would have preferred a positive outcome for their complaint, the fact that they know that their complaint has been investigated exhaustively and diligently can go a long way to ease frustration and inconvenience. At times, when a case is not clear-cut or when a fault cannot be established outright, the Unit attempts to reach a compromise, perhaps meeting half-way the requests which are made or expected by the complainant. Sometimes, the situation might not be strong enough for a compromise to be recommended. However, there have been several occasions where there was blatant disregard by financial service providers to the fundamental right of a consumer to be treated in his best interest. In these situations, the Unit has not held ba