Relations between intermediaries and customers

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What does the Bank of Italy require intermediaries to do?

The Bank of Italy requires intermediaries (banks and financial intermediaries) to comply with principles of transparency and correctness in their relations with customers.

Compliance with these principles:

  • protects customers
  • reduces legal and reputational risks and fosters sound and prudent management
  • increases the public's confidence in banks and financial intermediaries
  • contributes to the stability of the financial system as a whole.

Intermediaries must be attentive to customers' needs for all the duration of the contractual relationship and ensure:

  • clear and transparent information on counter products and services, brochures and the website
  • understandable information for all categories of customer, including future customers and those who are less expert
  • efficient management of complaints, to maintain high quality relations with all customers, even if the value of their savings or investments is modest
  • a commitment to enhancing customers' financial culture.

What does the Bank of Italy do?

it verifies that intermediaries comply with the rules on the transparency of contractual conditions and the correctness of relations with customers. In doing this, it requests relevant documentation, carries out inspections at branches and headquarters, and monitors websites;

  • it carefully analyses the complaints sent to it by customers, informs the intermediaries in question and asks them to respond to the customers and to be kept informed
  • it also intervenes by imposing sanctions in the event of anomalous or incorrect behaviour by intermediaries
  • promotes and provides for the operation of the Banking and Financial Ombudsman, the independent and impartial ADR system that offers a simpler, faster and cheaper alternative to the courts for resolving disputes between intermediaries and customers. According to the "compulsory mediation law", appealing to the Financial and Banking Ombudsman fulfills the conditions of admissibility to access to the court if needed
  • promotes financial education initiatives.

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