In case of problems with a bank or an intermediary, the customer can do the following:
- Submit a complaint directly to the intermediary;
- Appeal to an alternative system of dispute resolution;
- Submit the dispute to the civil courts.
All intermediaries are required to establish a complaint office which must respond to customer's complaint within 30 days from the date in which the complaint is received. Usually, the information on the complaint office and on how to submit a complaint are available on the intermediary's website.
If the intermediary does not respond to the customer, or if the customer is not happy with the reply, he or she can appeal:
- To one of the alternative systems for dispute resolution;
- To the civil courts.
The Arbitro Finanziario e Bancario (Financial and Banking Ombudsman) has been created in 2009 as an alternative system of dispute resolution between customers and intermediaries. If the complaint falls within the jurisdiction of the ABF, it can be dealt with in a short time and at a low cost (20 euros). The information concerning the functioning of the ABF and on how to file an appeal can be found on the ABF website (www.arbitrobancariofinanziario.it). The customer can also submit a complaint to the Bank of Italy.
Information about the complaint
By submitting a complaint to the Bank of Italy, the customer can report behaviors by the banks or financial intermediaries that he or she deems irregular or wrong. The complaints are a very important source of information allowing the Bank of Italy to perform its Supervisory Function. Pursuant to Law no. 241 of 1990, the submission of a complaint does not start an administrative procedure.
Who can submit a complaint
Customers that wish to report an irregular or wrong behavior by a Bank or a Financial intermediary can submit a complaint.
How to submit a complaint
The complaint must address specific elements concerning the financial and bank services on which the customer has identified irregular or wrong behaviors by banks and/or financial intermediaries.
The complaint must:
- Rightly identify the claimant (by hand signature or certified electronic signature or by sending an identification document or by using PEC - certified email address):
- Indicate the intermediary(ies) involved;
- Briefly and clearly summaries the reasons for the complaint.
Requests for data, information and advice as well as regulatory issues not detailing any irregular or wrong conduct are not considered as complaints by the Bank of Italy.
In order to submit a complaint to the Bank of Italy, customers can use:
- regular mail;
- hand delivery,
- e-mail from a certified email address (PEC);
- e-mail from a regular email address, signed with a certified electronic or digital signature.
Whenever possible, the complaint should be submitted or carried to the local branch of the Bank of Italy where the intermediary has its headquarters. In order to find out where the intermediary's headquarters are located, the lists and register of the supervised intermediaries can be consulted. In this page, contact details of the local branches of the Bank of Italy can also be found.
More useful information
What the Bank of Italy can do upon receiving a complaint
Upon receipt of a complaint, the Bank of Italy usually sends a copy to the intermediary requesting the intermediary to timely and thoroughly respond to the customer; it investigates the issues reported and checks that the relations between customers and intermediaries are sound; and it may collect further elements to carry out its supervisory function. In case the Bank of Italy is not competent to deal with a complaint, it forwards it to the competent authority, if not already engaged, and advises the customer accordingly.
What the Bank of Italy cannot do upon receiving a complaint
It is important to underline that the Bank of Italy:
- Does not make any decision concerning the contractual relation between the intermediary and the customer, nor does it carry out any evaluation concerning the autonomy of the intermediaries, such as the credit score of the intermediary's customers;
- Does not disseminate the outcomes of its investigations on the intermediaries;
- Does not usually respond to complaints on issues already investigated by the Judiciary authority;
- Does not investigate the same complaint twice, unless new elements have been presented.