Congress approves creation of new financial customer ombudsman with lower rates for banks

Spain took another step this Thursday to create a new body to protect financial customers. Congress overwhelmingly approved the legislative text creating this new entity. It did this after significantly reforming some of the most important aspects of the original document, such as the funding system. Initially, this was to be done through a €250 fee paid by entities for each claim made against them. Now, it will depend on the claims received and whether they have given the reason to the customer. Norm went ahead with 186 votes to Vox’s 47.

This issue caused bubbles in the financial sector, especially in the context of a new extraordinary tax on the sector. Some House groups have also criticized this funding model, and those on the right have introduced various amendments to replace it. One of the most active was the PNV, a party usually associated with the government and which criticized some of the key measures of this law.

Now it will no longer be 250 euros per request and its amount will depend on direct and indirect costs, including financial ones, depreciation of fixed assets and, if necessary, those costs necessary to guarantee the maintenance of the activity and reasonable development. The fee for the realization of which is required. This is the amendment signed by PNV, Junts, PP, Ciudadanos and PDeCAT, which was finally added to the text.

Thus, the fee will be divided into two parts. In the first, 40% of the costs incurred by the authority in the previous year will be applied to a percentage that separately represents the number of claims resolved against each entity in that year over the total number of claims resolved against all entities. And for the remaining 60%, the percentage that individually represents the number of decisions favorable to the claimant against each subject in the previous year will be applied to the total number of decisions favorable to the claimant against all the above-mentioned subjects.

That is, more than 40% of the costs will be considered settled claims, and 60% will be based on claims favorable to the claimant. This in practice, parliamentary sources explained to Europa Press, means rewarding banks that “do it best” and “punishing” those that do less, as most of the rate payment depends on claims that have been favoured. vs. Plaintiff and Bank.

The new power was born to relieve the courts, which are overloaded with lawsuits brought by customers against banks, insurers and investment managers. In this way, the different dispute resolution units currently in the Bank of Spain, the CNMV and the General Directorate of Insurance are included in one body. In addition, the decisions of this body are binding compared to the regulations of the current system.

Crafting this new law has brought an air of consensus to Congress that contrasts with the days that 28 million people lived in both chambers this week in the middle of the election campaign. “It’s a miracle we managed to reach agreements,” said Edmundo Bal, spokesman for Ciudadanos, during Thursday’s debate. “We have nothing but words of gratitude for a law that will be approved by broad consensus,” agreed Ferran Bell, of PdeCat.

The text is moving forward with the support of the two government parties, but also with the votes of PNV, ERC, EH Bildu, Ciudadanos, PDeCat and the Popular Party. The latter, while participating in the debate, was critical of the executive power and considered that it was “not necessary” to create a new administrative unit “in which all users will pay”. “We essentially agree, but we still have doubts,” he added. The text was also not endorsed by Vox, which said it was “opposed” to the creation of this new administrative body.

Source: El Diario





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