Report on the management of complaints from customers of banks and financial companies - year 2022


In 2022, the Bank of Italy received over 9,200 complaints on the conduct of banks, financial companies and other operators supervised by the Bank of Italy in their dealings with customers (private complaints), 6 per cent fewer than in 2021. However, the number of complaints is still greater than what it was in the five years before the pandemic (13 per cent more than in 2019; around 8,150 complaints per year on average).

Issues reported

Last year, reports relating to loan applications continued to account for the largest share (almost 33 per cent of the total). Complaints regarding deposits (e.g. savings and current accounts) remained stable compared with 2021 at 29 per cent. Some 17 per cent of complaints were related to payment instruments and services (-8 per cent year-on-year).

Reports on scams connected with payment services decreased by 19 per cent, although they remain a major issue. Reports on crypto-assets were low in number. They were mainly cases of alleged fraud that revealed customers' poor awareness of the risk profiles of these assets.

Some complaints were linked to the conflict in Ukraine: in response to reports on difficulties in opening payment accounts, we clarified that all customers legally residing in the European Union can apply for an account with basic features. Numerous complaints were submitted in relation to transactions involving the sale of tax credits ('Superbonus 110'): in about half of these cases, the sale was authorized following the complaint, sometimes after the financial intermediary sent reminders to the delegated external company.

After a decline in 2022, there was a significant increase in the number of complaints relating to applications for floating-rate mortgage renegotiations in the first quarter of 2023, linked to the increase in key interest rates. The rise in inflation also led to unilateral changes in contractual terms and conditions by some intermediaries, for which we received several complaints.

Outcome of complaints and response times

As in 2021, 41 per cent of customers' requests were fully or partially met by banks and financial companies, partly thanks to the intervention of the Bank of Italy. Some 37 per cent of complaints were rejected by the intermediaries as they were considered unfounded. The remaining 22 per cent of complaints pertained to issues that did not fall under the Bank of Italy's remit.

The Bank of Italy's average response time fell by one third compared with the previous year (from 24 to 16 days).