Problems with a service provider
The Financial Supervisory Authority (FIN-FSA) supervises service providers’ code of conduct and the legality of contractual terms.
The FIN-FSA is not vested with the powers to resolve juridical disputes between customers and service providers, such as disagreements over an obligation to pay damages or the contents of a claim decision. The FIN-FSA, moreover, cannot act as the agent of an individual customer.
If you have problems with a service provider, follow these steps:
- Make a written record of the problems in question.
- Contact your service provider, e.g. bank or insurance company, at their office or via their service number.
- If the problem cannot be resolved or you demand compensation, make a written and as clear and detailed a demand for compensation as possible and deliver it to your service provider.
- If the problem is not resolved, contact the Financial Ombudsman Bureau (FINE).
The FIN-FSA requires banks and other service providers to handle customer complaints in a proper manner.
In problem situations, you should always contact your contractual partner first and only after that other bodies.
Financial Ombudsman Bureau (FINE)
Telephone +358 9 6850 120
Monday to Thursday, 10 am to 4 pm
Appealing public recommendations and court decisions
In disputes between customers and service providers, usually the only body with the powers to impose a legally binding solution on both parties is a court of law. Court proceedings are time consuming, however, and the costs may be substantial.
In most cases, before a dispute is submitted to a court of law, the issue may be handled by an independent body. Bodies that issue recommended decisions include, for example, FINE (the Financial Ombudsman Bureau as well as the Banking Complaints Board, Insurance Complaints Board, Securities Complaints Board, which operate in conjunction with it) and the Consumer Disputes Board.
In some cases, for example when an insurance company refuses to pay insurance compensation, the company will give the customer a decision that can be appealed. Appeal instructions are appended to the decision.
- Consumer Disputes Board
- Traffic Accident Board
- Banking Complaints Board
- Patient Injuries Board
- Securities Complaints Board
- Accident Appeal Board
- Pension Appeal Board
- Unemployment Appeal Board
- Insurance Complaints Board
- General courts.
In problem situations, you can also contact the following authorities:
Consumer advisors assist and mediate in disputes between consumers and companies and provide them with information on consumer rights and obligations, relating for example to contracts and payments and to compensation for defective products and services.
Consumer advisors provide guidance as well as assistance in mediating disputes. Consumer advisors do not, however, handle matters relating to trade in securities and shares or disputes between individual persons or entrepreneurs.
Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA) and Finnish Consumer Ombudsman
The Consumer Ombudsman supervises compliance of practices relating to consumers’ financial security with the Consumer Protection Act and also, for example, the Payment Services Act. The Consumer Ombudsman also supervises the marketing of financial and insurance services and fairness of contractual terms and conditions. Financial services include different forms of investment undertaken by private households. Insurance services include the selling of investment policies as well as management and compensation services.
European Consumer Centre Finland
The European Consumer Centre Finland operates within the Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority as part of the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net), consisting of consumer centres in the European Economic Area. The role of ECC-Net is to promote consumer protection in cross-border trade between consumers and entrepreneurs on the European internal market.
The European Consumer Centre Finland provides guidance and expertise on consumer questions about cross-border trade and, if necessary, investigation and arbitration assistance in consumers’ conflicts with entrepreneurs located in other member countries of the European Economic Area.
Financial and debt counsellors
Financial and debt counsellors assist, for example, in mapping out the financial situation and preparing a settlement proposal with debtors. They do not, however, make decisions on behalf of customers; responsibility rests with the customers themselves.
A financial and debt counsellor should be contacted as soon as possible when payment difficulties or threat of such difficulties arise.
Data Protection Ombudsman
The Data Protection Ombudsman monitors and guides the processing of personal data and verifies observance with the law. The Ombudsman offers consultation in problems relating to the use, right of verification, correction, disclosure and protection of personal data.
State legal aid offices
State legal aid offices provide a wide range of legal services for persons entitled to legal aid. Legal aid may be given both in court proceedings and in other matters.
Parliamentary Ombudsman and Chancellor of Justice
The Parliamentary Ombudsman and Chancellor of Justice monitor that authorities and public officials as well as other parties performing public duties comply with the law and fulfil their obligations. The Parliamentary Ombudsman or the Chancellor of Justice may therefore handle complaints concerning insurance companies in relation to statutory insurance.
FIN-FSA's consumer helpline for users of banking, investment and insurance services
Tel. +358 9 183 5360 (free of charge in Finland), Tuesdays 9–10 and Thursdays 14–15.