Significant drop in number of complaints over financial services
Last year, a total of 119 complaints were filed with the Financial Supervision Authority over the provision of financial services – a significant drop from previous years. The bulk of the complaints were filed against banks.
Most problems revolved around borrower insolvency and the challenge of reaching a mutually acceptable agreement on how to overcome payment difficulties.
The number of complaints filed with the Financial Supervision Authority soared during the worst period of the crisis, from 2008 to 2010. A total of 153 complaints were filed with the Financial Supervision Authority in 2008, 181 in 2010. The rise in the number of complaints was halted and reversed already in 2011, with 148 customer complaints filed over financial services.
The highest number of complaints was filed against the biggest market participant, Swedbank. Danske Bank Estonia branch and BIGBANK received the most complaints in proportion to their market share.
Similarly to 2011, complaints against banks made up nearly two-thirds of all customer complaints in 2012.
A majority of the problems arising from the use of bank services involved loans and borrowings. Alongside payment difficulties, several customers inquired about the adherence to the responsible lending principle in the issue of loans. Concerns were also raised about the lawfulness of a contractual penalty for premature repayment of loans. Customers also inquired about the legality of the application of service charges and complained about the size of service fees. Problems with the use of ATMs also deserve a mention.
In insurance, most disputes have traditionally revolved around the size of the indemnity issued by the insurance company. Customers also complained about the activities of insurance companies in connection with loss adjustment, as well as about cases where the insurer refused to pay indemnities.
As regards investment services, most concerns revolved around the rights and obligations of security holders.
The number of complaints filed with the Financial Supervision Authority in 2012, broken down by service providers and market shares, is:
AS SEB Pank
Danske Bank A/S Estonia branch
ERGO Insurance SE
Nordea Bank Finland Plc Estonia branch
If P&C Insurance AS
AS Eesti Krediidipank
AS SEB Elu- ja Pensionikindlustus
BTA Insurance Company SE Estonia branch
Salva Kindlustuse AS
AAS Gjensidige Baltic Estonia branch
AS DNB Pank
AS Inges Kindlustus
AS LHV Pank
Seesam Insurance AS
Swedbank P&C Insurance AS
Admiral Markets AS
Allied Irish Banks, p.l.c. Estonia branch
AS KIT Finance Europe
ETK Finants AS
IIZI Kindlustusmaakler AS
QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited Estonia branch
Swedbank Investeerimisfondid AS
Swedbank Life Insurance SE
Note: market shares as at 31 December 2012. Market shares of insurance companies have been presented on the basis of insurance premiums and market shares of banks and management companies on the basis of the volume of assets.