Pursuant to Art. 74 FinSA, disputes about legal claims between customers and financial service providers are to be settled by an ombudsman service within the framework of a mediation procedure. If no agreement can be reached or if such an agreement appears hopeless, the ombudsman may, in accordance with Art. 75 FinSA, on the basis of the information available to him, provide the parties with their own actual and legal assessment of the dispute and include it in the notice concluding the proceedings.
FinSA strengthens the institution of the ombudsman’s office by obliging all financial service providers to join an ombudsman’s office and requiring official recognition of the ombudsman’s office by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF). However, the ombudsman’s offices still have no decision-making authority, so that they are not restricted in their activities as intermediaries.
Pursuant to Art. 77 FinSA, financial service providers must join an ombudsman office at the latest upon commencement of their activities. They must inform their clients of the possibility of initiating mediation proceedings before a recognised ombudsman (Art. 8 FinSA).