Ombudsman Office Project
In June 2018, Switzerland adopted the Financial Services Act (FinSA) introducing an obligation for financial services providers to be affiliated to a Mediation Body (or "Ombudsman Office") recognised by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF).
When the new law comes into force on 1st January 2020, financial services providers (hereafter "professionals") will have the obligation to:
be affiliated to an Ombudsman Office within 6 months*;
inform their clients of the option to attempt an Alternative Dispute Resolution Procedure (ADR);
participate in the procedure, if requested;
finance the Ombudsman Office (including its creation) and the procedure according to the principle of causality.
*Professionals are required to join an appropriate Ombudsman Office within six months of the date on which the FDF has recognized or instituted that office. The deadline is respected with the filing of the application.
Who is FINSOM?
The Financial Services Ombudsman (FINSOM) is a public utility association, initiated by volunteers.
FINSOM's objective is to create a single Ombudsman Office, in addition to the existing two Ombudsman Offices of the financial sector, that is dedicated to financial services.
A single Ombudsman Office dedicated to financial services
A single Ombudsman Office offers multiple advantages such as:
the best guarantee of independence;
transparency, accessibility and simplicity;
an efficient exchange of information with the supervisory authorities;
an added value of the public annual report;
an efficient supervision of the Ombudsman Offices by the FDF;
contributing to the international competitiveness of the Swiss financial sector.
Financing and Fees
The creation of the Banking Ombudsman was funded by the banks who also cover its running costs, through the Swiss Banking Association.
The creation of the Insurance Ombudsman was funded by the insurance companies who also cover its running costs, through the Swiss Insurance Association.
By law and the nature of its activities, the creation and running costs of one or more additional Ombudsman Offices will be financed by the affiliated financial service providers, either before the 1st January 2020 or after.
The following persons support FINSOM's objective to create a single Ombudsman Office of public utility dedicated to financial services:
If you share FINSOM's objectives and would like to guarantee the creation of a single Ombudsman Office, please contact us!