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complaints across Europe

1 March 2010

According to research published by the European Commission [586-page report in PDF format] on ombudsman schemes in Europe:

  • the UK's Financial Ombudsman Service handles 76% of all disputes settled out of court by ombudsmen and official complaints schemes in the UK;
  • 2 in 5 disputes settled out of court throughout the EU are handled by the UK's Financial Ombudsman Service;
  • the UK has the second highest level in Europe of consumers who complain (2.47 complaints per 1,000 UK citizens);
  • the consumers who complain the most in Europe live in Belgium (with 4.73 complaints per 1,000 citizens);
  • the consumers who complain the least in Europe are citizens of the Czech Republic (0.01 complaints per 1,000 citizens)

There is a network of financial ombudsmen and consumer-complaints organisations across Europe. This network - which includes the UK's Financial Ombudsman Service - is called FIN-NET.

FIN-NET's job is to help synchronise communications when a consumer living in one European country has a complaint against a financial services business based in a different European country.

FIN-NET has a website to help consumers check if there is an ombudsman scheme (or other complaints-handling body) dealing with financial complaints in a particular European country.