The general secretary of the Spanish Banking Association (AEB), Javier Rodríguez Pellitero, has announced the possibility that the new Authority for Financial Clients is unconstitutional, both due to the invasion of jurisdiction in judicial matters and the rate of 250 euros that the banks will have to pay each time a customer claim is accepted.
Rodríguez Pellitero has appeared before the Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation Commission of Congress, precisely to position himself around the bill that creates the independent administrative authority for the defense of financial clients, which is currently undergoing parliamentary processing.
However, it has indicated that the agency may be unconstitutional for two reasons. The first is due to the violation of article 117 of the Constitution, referring to the exclusivity and integrity of the jurisdictional function.
The leader of the AEB believes that with this authority there is “a risk” of violation by attributing to this entity powers “so intense in the judicial field.” “That limit can be crossed”, has announced the general secretary of AEB. In fact, he has missed a report from the General Council of the Judiciary in the draft law to rule on the scope of action of the new body.
The claim fee does not make sense
On the other hand, the representative of the bank has ruled on the rate of 250 euros that the banks will have to pay for each admitted customer claim. For the AEB secretary, this “does not make any sense” and could also become unconstitutional.
In his opinion, this could lead to an added perverse effect caused by the “litigation industry” against banks. This litigation industry that Pellitero refers to is made up of client lawyers who insist on litigating with banks for their own benefit.
In this sense, the secretary of the employer’s association has indicated that in the event that a group of clients articulate a claim campaign against a maintenance commission of an entity of, for example, 80 euros, and that it is “perfectly lawful”, The entity will not be interested in defending each case, since it would mean paying 250 euros for each case. This, explained Pellitero, implies a situation of “impossibility of economic rationality” to be able to defend his position, which explains the possible unconstitutionality of the rate.
Risk of further prosecution of claims
The main purpose of this new body is to settle conflicts between financial institutions and their clients out of court. However, Pellitero observes that far from achieving this objective, it could incur a risk of hindering the claims and prosecuting them, as has happened in the United Kingdom as a result of a body similar to the one raised in Spain, as he explained.
In addition, Javier Rodríguez Pellitero has indicated that to this possible increase in claims is added an increase in the staff of the agency itself, which obviously entails an increase in the number of people and the corresponding public spending. On the other hand, the general secretary of AEB has indicated that the current claims system, which is divided into two levels of action, works “reasonably well”.
Proof of this is that, of the total claims submitted to the banks, only 10% of the total reach the claims services of the supervisors, which corresponds to the second level of the system. “Most of the clients obtained satisfaction in the entity’s own claims service,” Pellitero remarked.