FINANCIAL OMBUDSMAN - BASIC FACTS OF COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE

(The law and procedures governing the Financial Ombudsman’s operation can be found in the official website www.financialombudsman.gov.cy).

The complaint referred to the Financial Ombudsman must be submitted in writing by filling out a specific form and should be forwarded to the Ombudsman by hand, by post, by facsimile (fax) or by electronic mail (email).

1.    Who is eligible to apply/refer a complaint 

All individuals (natural persons) as well as legal persons, charities, clubs, associations, trusts and provident funds whose income for the year preceding the year the complaint is filed does not exceed €250.000.

2.   What are the prerequisites for the validity of the complaint

    - the complaint to be filed by the complaiant himself.
    - the complainant has preciously addressed ths complaint in writing to the financial institution against which the complaint is directed.
    - the complainant has received a reply from the financial institution which does not satisfy him or he has not received a reply at all.
    - the period between the date of receipt of the reply from the financial institution and the date of submission to the Financal Ombudsman does not exceed 4 months.  If the financial institution has not replied at all, the submission of complaint to the Financial Ombudsman must be submitted within 4 months from the date the financial institution was obliged to respond to its client.
    - the amount regarding the dispute or objection or protest against the financial institution does not exceed Euro 170.000.
    - a judicial prodedure is not pending or a decision has not already been issued by a Court of the Republic for the same complaint.

3.    Fees 

Each complaint submission is charged with a €20 fee which must be paid in a specific bank account in one of the credit institution listed in the Financial Ombudsman’s website.

4.    Binding decision acceptance 

The Financial Ombudsman provides the option to both parties (complainant and financial institution) before he issues his decision to accept the bindness of his decision.  It is imperative that the decision is binding only if both parties accept it and in such case the decision is final and cannot be appealed to a Court.

5.    Complaint Form 

The relevant complaint form as well as more information for the whole process can be found in the Financial Ombudsman’s website www.financialombudsman.gov.cy. It should be noted that together with the completed form, the receipt of payment for the fee, copies of the identity card or passport, the complaint submitted to the financial institution, the acknowledgment of receipt of the complaint from the financial institution and the reply (if any) from the financial institution, must be attached in the form.