Saturday, June 3, 2023

Congress approves creation of new low-rate financial customer ombudsman for banks

Spain has taken another step this Thursday in creating a new authority to protect financial customers. Congress has approved by a large majority the legislative text by which this new entity has been created. It has done so after significantly reforming some of the most relevant aspects of its original document, such as the funding system. Initially, this was to be done through a fee of 250 euros paid by the institutions for each claim accepted by them. Now, it will depend on the claims received and the reason they have given to the customer. Criterion moved ahead with 186 votes and only 47 votes against Vox.

The issue had raised eyebrows in the financial sector, especially in the context of a new extraordinary tax being imposed on the sector. This financing model was also criticized by some groups in the chamber and the authority introduced different amendments to try to change it. One of the most active was the PNV, a party usually aligned with the government and which criticized some of the key measures of the law.

It will no longer be 250 euros per claim and its amount will depend on direct and indirect costs, including those of a financial nature, amortization of fixed assets and, where appropriate, those necessary to guarantee the maintenance and proper development of the activity. For which recovery fee is required. This is an amendment signed by the PNV, Junts, PP, Ciudadanos and PDeCAT, which has finally been added to the text.

Thus, the fee will be divided into two parts. In the first, 40% of the expenses incurred by the Authority in the previous year shall be applied as a percentage of the claims settled against each entity in that year against the total number of claims settled against all entities individually. represents the number of. and for the remaining 60%, the percentage which represents the number of resolutions favorable to the claimant against each entity individually in the previous year shall be applied to the total number of resolutions in favor of the claimant against all the above entities.

In other words, over 40% of the expenses will be taken into account for settled claims, while 60% will be based on claims favorable to the claimant. In practice this has meant rewarding banks that “do the best” and “punishing” those that comply less, according to parliamentary sources explained to Europa Press, as much of the rate paid depends on those claims. who are friendly. against the claimant and the bank.

The new authority was born with the aim of freeing up the courts, which are heavily saturated with judicial claims brought by clients against banks, insurers and investment managers. In this way, the different dispute resolution departments that are currently in the Bank of Spain, the CNMV and the Directorate General of Insurance are included in a single authority. Furthermore, the decisions of this body are endowed with a binding nature compared to the resolutions of the current system.

The processing of this new legislation has given Congress an atmosphere of consensus that contrasts with the days spent in both chambers this week in the midst of an election campaign for 28M. “It’s a miracle we managed to reach agreements,” said Edmundo Bal, a spokesman for Ciudadanos, during Thursday’s debate. PDCat’s Ferran Bell agreed, saying, “We have only words of gratitude for legislation that is being approved with broad consensus.”

The text goes ahead with the support of the two government parties, but also with a vote of abstention from the PNV, ERC, EH Bildu, Ciudadanos, PDECAT and the Popular Party. The latter has been critical of the executive during its participation in the debate, noting that “it was not necessary” to create a new administrative entity “for which all consumers are going to pay.” “We agree in essence, but we still have doubts,” he said. Nor has Vox endorsed the text, which has said it is “opposed” to the creation of this new administrative authority.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Desk
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