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Submitting a complaint against companies in the financial services sector
Source: Zuständigkeitsfinder Schleswig-Holstein (Linie6PLus)
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is responsible for protecting all consumers in the financial services sector. You can only submit complaints to BaFin about possible malpractice in a company in the financial services sector that is under the supervision of BaFin. BaFin cannot refund money that you have lost through securities transactions, for example.
It also has no influence on statutory or contractual deadlines, such as payment, reporting or limitation periods, if you submit a complaint. To ensure that you do not suffer any disadvantages, you must ensure that you comply with such deadlines yourself, irrespective of BaFin's review. In cases of doubt, it is advisable to seek legal advice.
In the event of a dispute, BaFin offers the parties involved the opportunity to settle the dispute out of court in addition to lodging a complaint, if your complaint is suitable for this.
Regardless of which body is responsible for settling a specific disagreement, all procedures have certain principles in common:
- Conciliation proceedings are largely conducted in writing.
- Before an arbitration procedure, you should always have complained in writing to the company or institution concerned.
- The arbitration procedure itself is generally free of charge for you as a consumer.
- If you do not agree with the arbitrator's decision, you can still decide to take legal action, i.e. sue the institution in question.
BaFin is not responsible for complaints about
- statutory health insurance, accident insurance, pension insurance or municipal compensation,
- the stock exchange supervisory authority,
- some smaller insurance companies that only operate regionally and are subject to state supervision,
- Old funds, provided they are not subject to the Capital Investment Code, the Securities Sales Prospectus Act or the Asset Investment Act,
- brokers of investment funds and other financial service providers that do not conduct business requiring a license under the German Banking Act.
- Restrictions also apply to foreign companies.
You can use the online complaint form for complaints under the German Investment Code. To do so, use the online service "BaFin online complaint form".
- When submitting the complaint, you will be guided through the form and asked for the necessary information
The following information is requested:
- Your name and address
- in the case of a complaint on behalf of another person: name and address of the person concerned
- Name and address of the company concerned
in the case of a complaint about a credit or financial services institution:
- Type of business relationship, e.g. securities account, current account, savings contract
- Account or customer number
- Name of the account holder, if you are not the account holder yourself
in the event of complaints in connection with the purchase of securities:
- Securities identification number: WKN or ISIN
if you wish to complain about a capital management company:
- the full name of the investment fund concerned, if applicable, as well as the WKN or ISIN and the name of the custodian.
BaFin normally examines complaints in several steps:
- First, it checks whether your case can already be assessed on the basis of the information you have provided and the documents you have submitted.
- If not, BaFin clarifies the facts further. To do this, it requests a statement from the company concerned. As a rule, BaFin will forward your letter of complaint to the company.
- The company will respond to your complaint to BaFin.
- BaFin examines the company's statement in accordance with regulatory standards and decides whether and to what extent further steps against the company are necessary. However, due to its mandate and its duty of confidentiality, BaFin will not inform you of the outcome of its review.
- In any case, you will receive a final letter regarding your complaint. If the company agrees, BaFin will also forward its response to your complaint to you.
- BaFin supervises the company about which you file a complaint.
Which documents are required?
- a description of your problem that is as precise as possible (with signature)
- Copies of documents that help to understand the matter; for example, contract, statements, insurance policy, correspondence
- if you are complaining on behalf of another person: a written power of attorney authorizing you to act on behalf of the person concerned
- if you have someone represent you in the complaint: a written power of attorney for the authorized person
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
- You can lodge a complaint at any time.
- Please note that statutory or contractual deadlines, for example payment, notification or limitation periods, continue to run despite your complaint.
Section 342 KAGB, Section 4b FinDAG
- Administrative court action
What else should I know?
There are no indications or special features.
Technically approved by
Federal Ministry of Finance (BMF)