Monday, June 5

Congress approves the creation of the new financial customer ombudsman with a lower rate for banks

Spain has taken another step this Thursday to have a new Authority for the Defense of Financial Clients. Congress has approved with a large majority the legislative text by which this new entity is created. It has done so after significantly reforming some of the most relevant aspects in its original document, such as the financing system. Initially, it was to be carried out through a fee of 250 euros paid by the entities for each claim against them admitted. Now, it will depend on the claims received and that they have given the reason to the client. The norm has gone ahead with 186 votes in favor and only 47 against, those of Vox.

This issue had raised blisters in the financial sector, especially in a context in which the new extraordinary tax on the sector was being implemented. Some groups in the chamber had also criticized this financing model and the right had presented different amendments to try to change it. One of the most active was the PNV, a party usually associated with the Government and which had criticized some of the core measures of this law.

Now it will no longer be 250 euros per claim and its amount will depend on the direct and indirect costs, including those of a financial nature, amortization of fixed assets and, where appropriate, those necessary to guarantee the maintenance and reasonable development of the activity for which realization fee is required. This is an amendment signed by the PNV, Junts, PP, Ciudadanos and the 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 will be applied the percentage that individually represents the number of claims resolved against each of the entities in that year over the total number of claims resolved. against all entities. And to the remaining 60%, the percentage that individually represents the number of resolutions favorable to the claimant against each of the entities in the previous year will be applied over the total number of resolutions favorable to the claimant against all the aforementioned entities.

In other words, over 40% of the expenses, the resolved claims will be taken into account, while 60% will be based on the claims favorable to the claimant. This in practice, according to parliamentary sources explained to Europa Press, means rewarding those banks that “do it best” and “punishing” those that comply less, since most of the payment of the rate depends on the claims that have been favorable. to the claimant and against the bank.

The new authority was born with the aim of freeing the courts, which are very saturated, of the judicial claims that are presented 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 General Directorate of Insurance are included in a single authority. In addition, the decisions of this body are endowed with a binding nature compared to the resolutions of the current system.

The processing of this new law has brought to Congress an atmosphere of consensus that contrasts with the days lived this week in both chambers in the middle of the electoral campaign for 28M. “It’s a miracle, we managed to reach agreements,” said Edmundo Bal, spokesman for Ciudadanos during the debate on Thursday. “We only have words of gratitude for a law that is going to be approved with a broad consensus,” agreed Ferran Bel, from PdeCat.

The text goes ahead with the support of the two government parties, but also with the vote of the PNV, ERC, EH Bildu, Ciudadanos, the PDeCat and the abstention of the Popular Party. The latter has been critical of the Executive during his participation in the debate, considering that “it was not necessary” to create a new administrative entity “that all consumers are going to end up paying for.” “We agree in essence, but we still have doubts,” he added. He has not supported the text either, Vox, who has said that he is “against” the creation of this new administrative authority.

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