Ombudsman according to the FinSA

On 1 January 2020, the Financial Services Act (FinSA) entered into force. Under the FinSA, clients of financial service providers can avail themselves of an ombudsman procedure. For this purpose, the financial service providers must be affiliated to an ombudsman recognised by the Federal Finance Department (FDF).

Legal basis

Articles 74 et seq. of the FinSA provide for a mediation procedure before an ombudsman to settle legal disputes between clients and financial service providers.

For this purpose, the financial services providers must be affiliated to an ombudsman (Art. 77 of the FinSA) that has been recognised by the FDF (Art. 84 para. 1 of the FinSA).

List of recognised ombudsmen
 

  • 24.06.2020 - Swiss Banking Ombudsman Foundation
    Bahnhofplatz 9, 8021 Zürich
    www.bankingombudsman.ch

  • 24.06.2020 - Ombudsman's Office for financial service providers
    Bleicherweg 10, 8001 Zürich
    www.ofdl.ch

  • 24.06.2020 - Finanzombuds­stelle Schweiz (FINOS)
    Talstrasse 20, 8001 Zürich
    www.finos.ch

  • 24.06.2020 - OFS Ombud Finance Switzerland
    Bollwerk 21, c/o Etude Peter von Ins, 3011 Bern
    www.ombudfinance.ch

  • 27.07.2020 - Financial Services Ombudsman (FINSOM)
    Avenue de la Gare 45, 1920 Martigny
    www.finsom.ch
  • 27.07.2020 - Terraxis SA
    Rue de la Tour-de-l'Île 1, 1204 Genève
    www.terraxis.ch

Eligibility and conditions for membership are governed by the regulations of the ombudsman offices.

The list is not exhaustive – some recognition procedures are still ongoing. Moreover, it is still possible to apply for recognition.

Transitional provisions

According to Article 95 of the FinSA, financial service providers must be affiliated to an ombudsman within six months of the Act coming into force. If no ombudsman exists when the FinSA enters into force, the time limit for affiliation will not begin until ombudsmen have been recognised by the FDF (Art. 108 of the FinSO).

If there is no suitable ombudsman for several financial service providers, the Federal Council may establish an ombudsman (Art. 84 para. 4(2) of the FinSA).

© EFD / DFF

Review criteria of the FDF

When recognising ombudsmen, the FDF is bound by the provisions of the law and ordinance. These provide for a certain amount of discretion. The following explanations are intended to show when the FDF considers the prerequisites to be fulfilled. It is not excluded that the fulfilment of the recognition requirements may be proven by other means.

Application

Components of the application

The following documents must be submitted as proof of the recognition requirements:

  • Articles of incorporation
  • Organisational regulations
  • Rules of procedure
  • Schedule of contributions and costs
  • Proof of financing
  • Business plan
  • Proof of interest of affiliated financial service providers or those interested in becoming affiliated (list of members, declaration of intent of an industry association, etc.)
  • CV of the ombudsperson responsible
  • Job and requirement profiles of the individuals leading cases

Deadline, address and form

Requests for the recognition of an ombudsman must be submitted to the

Federal Department of Finance FDF
General Secretariat
Legal Services
3003 Bern

Requests must be submitted by post or electronically via the FDF's secure online form.

Contact
Last modification 15.09.2020

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