However, the Financial Ombudsman has doubts about reliability in the way financial institutions count the number of complaints. It is for this that the Polish Financial Supervision Authority will be asked for help. The PFSA’s task will be to check how banks and insurance companies count the number of complaints sent by unsatisfied customers.
In August 2020, the institution of the Insurance Ombudsman was transformed into the Institution of the Financial Ombudsman. With the change, this institution gained a new scope of responsibilities – previously it only took care of the interests of clients of insurance companies, currently, it also deals with clients of banks and loan companies.
Consumers complain about bank loans
Of the 125 complaints about financial institutions, as many as 94 related to banking products, and only 31 related to products offered by loan companies. Customers mainly focused on fees related to cash loans offered by banks.
These allegations primarily concerned the lack of reliable information regarding, inter alia, total loan amount, high fees charged for individual services. Consumers also drew attention to the complicated and incomprehensible content of documents.
What’s more, customers believed that banks apply unfair rates of return for insurance in the event of early repayment. According to consumers, the amounts reimbursed in this respect were extremely low compared to the fees charged for insurance at the time the loan agreement was concluded.
Complaints at loan companies and banks
In the report, the Financial Ombudsman published data on complaints submitted by clients during the reporting period, i.e. between October 11, 2020, and December 31, 2020. They show that in this period 5300 complaints were received by loan companies, of which as many as 73.5 percents. concerned two quick loan companies.
Province Loan took the infamous first place in terms of accepted complaints – 2259 complaints, which constituted 42.5 percent. loans, while 1649 (31%) were received by City Loan. South Loan is the record holder among banks in terms of accepted claims. The bank has accepted as many as 42,474 complaints, over 35,000 were received by Mobile Bank, and only 28,000 by ABC.
Temporary financial problems
The report also reads that banks are reluctant to enter into settlements with clients who have temporary financial problems, as well as those whose financial situation has deteriorated. As the Financial Ombudsman informs, the phenomenon of misselling in the loan industry is also noticeable.
This phenomenon consists in activities leading to the sale of products to customers, the use of which does not coincide with their needs. According to the Financial Ombudsman, some companies, therefore, offer products that are not adapted to the financial capabilities of their clients. In order to clarify this situation, the Financial Ombudsman started cooperation with UOKIK.