Consumer complaints handling and settlement of disputes regarding financial services within the authority of FCMC and other institutions

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CONSUMER COMPLAINTS HANDLING AND SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES REGARDING FINANCIAL SERVICES WITHIN THE AUTHORITY OF FCMC AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS

Financial and Capital Market Commission (FCMC) hereby provides information about the scope of authority of FCMC and other responsible institutions in handling consumer complaints and settling disputes in order to raise awareness of financial services consumers of each particular case and to ease selecting the right institution to address an application or complaint regarding the activities of financial and capital markets participants.

FCMC in compliance with its goals and objectives regulates and monitors the functioning of the financial and capital markets and their participants1. FCMC supervises the activities of participants of the financial and capital markets under the laws and subordinated regulations regulating the financial sector thus ensuring protection of the interests of investors, depositors and the insured persons.

1. Civil Dispute Resolution:

• In accordance with the Latvian legislation all the civil disputes are subject to review in the court unless otherwise stipulated under the law or  an agreement reached to resolve dispute by the court of arbitration;
• FCMC is not authorized under the law to interfere  with contractual relations between the service provider and service receiver and resolve civil disputes between the parties (based on mutual transactions);

Consumer Rights Protection Centre (CRPC) does not deal with civil disputes that are not related to violation of consumer rights protection rules, for instance, disputes regarding insurance indemnities or refusal to pay indemnities, as well as in case of consumer default on credit liabilities, disputes in respect of the amount of interest rate, repayable loan amount, indemnities against loss.

2. Consumer Rights Violations:

• CRPC deals with submissions regarding breaches of consumer rights protection regulations submitted by consumers including the financial services users. CRPC deals with consumer submissions (disputes) on unfair contractual terms and conditions, in case of dispute arising between a consumer and manufacturer, service provider or seller regarding specific contractual terms, i.e. the consumer has already addressed the manufacturer, seller or service provider in respect of unfair contractual terms and the latter refuses to rectify contractual terms; CRPC provides the necessary assistance to consumers in resolving disputes that have arisen with manufacturers, sellers or service providers, as well as requires compliance with the lawful claims of consumers under the consumer rights protection rules, provides legal assistance to consumers regarding the consumer rights protection issues.

3. Complaints on the Activities of Latvia-registered Credit Institution:

• Ombudsman of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks handles complaints about the activities of Latvia-registered credit institution concerning clearance remittances or transactions involving electronic means of payment.

4. Complaints on the Insurers' Decisions, Insurance and Reinsurance Mediation Services:

• Ombudsman of the Association of Latvian Insurers handles complaints against a decision made by an insurer authorized to pursue insurance business in the Republic of Latvia regarding payments of insurance indemnities or refusal to pay insurance indemnities for life assurance, assistance insurance, property insurance, land vehicle insurance as well as accident insurance claims;
• FCMC gives its opinion on submissions and complaints regarding breaches of regulatory enactments if they relate to insurance or reinsurance mediation in accordance with Insurance and Reinsurance Intermediaries Law;
• In case of breach of the provisions of the Insurance Contract Law regarding terms and conditions of the insurance contract and the term of decision-taking on the insurance indemnity payment, FCMC has the right to impose on the insurer a penalty not exceeding 10 000 lats (Article 109 of the Law on Insurance Companies and Supervision Thereof, Article 6 (2), Article 24.1 and Article 55 of the Insurance Contract Law);
• Customers, who can be regarded as consumers for the purpose of the Consumer Rights Protection Law, are entitled to submit their complaints to the Consumer Rights Protection Centre regarding violations of the consumer rights protection regulatory provisions in respect of insurance mediation.

5. Payment Services Law Violations:

FCMC examines applications, submitted by the payment services users who cannot be regarded as consumers for the purpose of the Consumer Rights Protection Law, regarding violation of provisions of Payment Services Law in case it has caused or is likely to cause substantial damage to the interests of group of above services users (collective consumer interests).

CONTACTS:
Financial un Capital Market Commission: Kungu iela 1, Riga, LV-1050. Phone 67774800; E-pasts: fktk@fktk.lv; www.fktk.lv.
Consumer Rights Protection Centre: K. Valdemāra iela 157, LV – 1013, Riga, email: ptac@ptac.gov.lv; www.ptac.gov.lv.
Ombudsman of the Association of Latvian Commercial Banks: Pērses ielā 9/11, Riga LV-1011, email: aivars@bankasoc.lv, phone: 67284562; http://www.bankasoc.lv/skirejtiesa/ombuds/par_ombudu/index2.php.
Ombudsman of the Association of Latvian Insurers: Bieķensalas ielā 6, 218.kab., Riga, LV-1004. phone: 67360898; http://www.laa.lv/pub/?cmd=ombuds.
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1 Participants in the financial and capital markets are issuers, investors, credit institutions, insurers, private pension funds, insurance brokers, stock exchanges, depositories, broker companies, brokers, investment companies, credit unions and investment consultants.