Introduction of the Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services

Introduction of the Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services

Employment and Industrial Relations

On the 17th April 2017, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) issued a public notice confirming the phasing out of the internal role of the ‘Consumer Complaint Manager’, previously tasked with handling consumer complaints against financial services providers, and the simultaneous substitution thereof with the Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services.

the Act formally establishes the Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services as an entirely autonomous and independent body with the primary object of mediating, investigating and adjudicating complaints filed by customers against financial services providers

The change follows the enactment of the ‘Arbiter for Financial Services Act’, which Act inter alia formally establishes the Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services as an entirely autonomous and independent body with the primary object of mediating, investigating and adjudicating complaints filed by customers against financial services providers. Accordingly, the MFSA has formally notified all stakeholders that, going forward, all consumer complaints in relation to entities licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA are to be lodged (by residents and non-residents alike) before the newly established Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services.

For the purposes of the Act, a ‘financial  services  provider’ (and therefore entities in respect of which complaints may be lodged with the Office as aforesaid) includes any provider of financial services which is or has been licensed or otherwise authorised by the MFSA in terms of the Malta Financial Services Authority Act or any other financial services law including, without limitation, investment  services, banking, financial institutions, credit cards, pensions and/or insurance, which is or has been resident in Malta or is or has been resident in another EU/EEA Member State and which offers or has offered its financial services in Malta. Moreover, the said definition also encompasses complaints made in respect of a provider of financial services which has had its licence suspended or withdrawn by the MFSA or overseas competent authority, to the extent that such provider was licensed during the period in relation to which a customer complaint is made and the complainant is an eligible customer in terms of the Act.

Contact Be. Legal Advocates to find out more about Malta’s financial services regulatory regime

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