Financial Services Ombudsman

Activities

Ombudsman Office

FINSOM is a “mediation body” or “ombudsman’s office”. Its aim is to develop a system of commercial and workplace mediation that is independent, impartial, specialised, transparent, accessible and complies with international standards.

Through its activities FINSOM enables affiliated companies to comply with certain legal obligations regarding investor protection and occupational health, as well as to manage their operational and reputation risks. It contributes to:

  • The protection of clients as well as to the protection of employees and companies against unfair business practices;
  • The proper functioning of the free economy within the meaning of Art. 94 of the Federal Constitution;
  • Financial market supervision;
  • The reduction of occupational health costs;
  • Relieve the burden on the judicial system.

Through its existence FINSOM contributes to the image of the Swiss financial centre and to protecting its reputation.

FINSOM is voluntarily entered in the Commercial Register but does not carry out commercial activities.

From its headquarters in Valais, FINSOM can operate and develop its activities throughout Switzerland in several languages.

Mediation

Hotline

The hotline is the first point of contact.

It deals with enquiries or complaints from companies, their private, professional or institutional clients and their employees.

It provides guidance on the different methods of dispute resolution, assesses the suitability of mediation, checks the conditions of access to mediation and organises the mediation procedure.

Commercial Mediation

Commercial Mediation intervenes to prevent or resolve conflict or disputes between professionals and their private, professional or institutional clients. It is carried out on the basis of a legal mandate granted by the Government.

Workplace Mediation 

Workplace Mediation intervenes in conflicts or disputes between employers and employees or between employees. It is exercised on the basis of a private mandate from the affiliated employers who designate FINSOM as an external trusted person integrated into the company’s organisation.

Further information

Other activities

FINSOM also exercises the following activities:

  • Training
  • Information
  • Supervision
  • Risk management

Further information

Excluded activities

FINSOM is an association acting in the public interest and therefore tax-exempt.

It may not engage in activities with the main aim of making a profit or that would pose a conflict of interest to its mediation activities.

The ombudsman office therefore does not provide advice to affiliated companies, clients or employees and does not defend the interests of its affiliated companies in political or legal matters. For these services, the parties are referred to legal consultants and departments or to branch organisations, employee associations or trade unions, consumer or investor associations. FINSOM also does not distribute the products or services of third parties.