The Governor of the Bank of Spain Pablo Hernández de Cos that a claim be admitted for processing.
Hernández de Cos has appeared before the Economic Affairs Commission of the Congress on the occasion of the processing of the bill for this new body for the extrajudicial resolution of conflicts between users and financial entities. One of the main risks of this new institution, according to the words of the governor, involves its financing system, which is based mainly on a rate contributed from the financial sector itself.
The fee is fixed at an import of 250 euros and is accrued for the mere processing of claims, regardless of the direction in which the agency finally decides. In this way, it is intended to encourage entities to resolve their customers’ claims in a friendly manner, before they go to the Authority.
However, for the Bank of Spain this system could generate an increase in conflicts between customers and financial institutions. In fact, De cos has alluded to the opinion of the council of state on the draft law, where it ruled on the “lack of proportionality” of the designed rate system.
To avoid these potential problems, Hernández De Cos believes that they could explore other alternatives, such as requiring the collection of the fee based on the number of claims against an entity, and not merely on those processed.
One agency to oversee them all
Currently, the financial supervision model in Spain is based on a sectoral distribution between three supervisory institutions –Bank of Spain, Securities Market Commission (CNMV) and the Ministry of Economic Affairs through the General Directorate of Insurance- -.
For its part, the bill chooses to create a single agency in charge of resolving all financial claims, which replaces the three sectoral claims services, but which maintains the competence to supervise the conduct of each of the financial supervisory authorities.
The highest representative of the Bank of Spain considers that beyond not reflecting the potential advantages of an integrated supervision model, the main point that this new institutional scheme is that the separation of the complaint resolution function of the supervisory authorities is not difficult the adequate development of the task of supervising their conduct.
Under the new scheme proposed by the bill, De Cos believes that ensuring supervisory efficiency will require proper coordination and transmission of information between the new authority and the three sectoral supervisors. These coordination needs between the Authority and the supervisors will be particularly relevant in the transition period until the effective implementation of the Authority.
Binding nature of claims
The governor has also ruled on the binding nature of the claims. The new body provides for this binding nature for those claims in which the amount claimed is less than 20,000 euros. Likewise, the bill contemplates the possibility of appealing binding resolutions before the contentious-administrative jurisdiction.
In this area, the Bank of Spain has established the search for an alternative system to the judicial route, such as a system of self-adherence by the entities, which would accept, in advance, the obligation to comply with the resolutions issued by the authority.
In this way, the governor has indicated, there would be a binding resolution for the entity that, in turn, would not be appealable before any judicial instance, thus preventing “delays and costs derived from the resources that the entities could present”. At this point De Cos has alluded to the Code of Good Practices for mortgage debtors, which certifies the effectiveness of these measures, given that practically all entities that grant mortgage loans have adhered to this code.