CONSUMER COMPLAINTS OFFICE
This is the form you need to fill in if you want the Consumer Complaints Manager to look at
your complaint. Remember – you must have complained to the financial services product
provider or other licence holder first. For help to fill in this form, please phone us free on
We can help if you need You can download this form from our website
information in a different format. www.mfsa.com.mt/consumer to complete by hand. Or you can fill it on
If you have any special needs, screen – then print it off and mail it back to us. Sorry but we cannot accept
please phone us on 800 74924. forms submitted by e-mail.
DETAILS OF ANYONE
COMPLAINING WITH YOU
Surname Title Title
ID /Passport No.
Daytime phone Mobile
Home phone Email
IF SOMEONE IS COMPLAINING ON YOUR BEHALF (EG. A LAWYER OR RELATIVE)
PLEASE GIVE THEIR DETAILS
Their name Relationship to you
Their address for
Daytime phone Fax
DETAILS OF THE PRODUCT PROVIDER OR LICENCE HOLDER YOU ARE COMPLAINING
ABOUT (This may be your bank, insurance company, life insurance company, fund management company,
stockbroker, investment services licence holder or financial institution)
Name of the Product
Provider or Licence
Your account number &
sort code or policy
number or claim number
or other reference
DETAILS OF THE INTERMEDIARY, ENTITY OR OTHER LICENCE HOLDER WHO ORIGINALLY
SOLD THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT (IF DIFFERENT FROM THE
ENTITY NAMED ABOVE) - (This may be your bank, stockbroker, investment services licence holder,
financial institution, insurance broker, insurance agent, or insurance sub-agent)
Their phone number
LIST THE NAME OF THE PERSON OR PERSONS WHOM YOU HAVE CONTACTED AT THE
INTERMEDIARY, ENTITY OR OTHER LICENCE HOLDER
Name (and surname)
Name (and surname)
DESCRIPTION OF THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE YOU ARE COMPLAINING ABOUT
Please give the name and
type of account, policy etc
Day Month Year
• When did the advice, transaction or poor service that
you are complaining about take place?
Day Month Year
• When did you first notice that there might be a problem?
Day Month Year
• When did you first complain to the product provider or
• Has the product provider or other licence holder sent you
its final decision on your complaint in writing? YES NO
If you have answered YES, please send us a copy of the final response letter from the product provider
or other licence holder with this form
• Have there been any court/tribunal/arbitration proceedings
relating to your complaint – or are any YES * NO
court/tribunal/arbitration proceedings planned?
• Have you contacted any other authority about your complaint? YES * NO
*If you have answered YES to either of these questions, please give details here:
SUMMARY OF YOUR COMPLAINT
WE ALSO NEED TO KNOW….
• How would you like the product provider or other licence holder you are complaining
about to put the matter right for you?
YOUR PERMISSION FOR THE CONSUMER COMPLAINTS OFFICE TO GO AHEAD
I would like the Consumer Complaints Manager, or his representative, to consider my complaint. I
confirm that :
• I have read and understood the way the Consumer Complaints Manager at MFSA operates and the
extent to which the MFSA may help me with my complaint (see following pages);
• The MFSA has my authorisation to contact the product provider or other licence holder with whom
I have a dispute and to request copies of any documentation relating to my complaint;
• You will need to handle personal details about me, which could include sensitive information (for
example, about health matters), in order to deal with my complaint effectively;
• You may need to exchange information about my complaint with other organisations (for example,
to find out important facts relating to my case);
• You handle complaints in a different way from the courts, not usually requiring people to attend
hearings in person but resolving disputes by correspondence/meetings;
• MFSA may use the facts in my complaint as an example of where things can go wrong, but it will
always respect my privacy and keep my personal information strictly confidential except as
• I hereby certify and confirm that to the best of my knowledge, the information
furnished above is true, accurate, correct and complete.
COMPLAINANTS ARE REQUESTED TO SIGN HERE – EVEN IF SOMEONE ELSE IS COMPLAINING
ON YOUR BEHALF.
__________________ __________ __________________ __________
signature date signature date
Name: _________________________ Name: _________________________
__________________ __________ __________________ __________
signature date signature date
Name: _________________________ Name: _________________________
FINALLY, HAVE YOU … MAIL TO …
Consumer Complaints Manager
Included everything you want to Malta Financial Services Authority
tell us about your complaint? Notabile Road
Enclosed a copy of the entity’s Attard BKR 3000
final response letter? Malta
Enclosed copies of relevant Freephone: 80074924 General: +356 2144 1155
documents? Fax: +356 2144 1189 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Consumer Complaints Manager
at the Malta Financial Services Authority
Information For Consumers
Table of Contents • “Complaints Manager” means the Consumer
Complaints Manager at the Malta Financial
1. Why Would I Need To File A Complaint?.............1 Services Authority
2. What Happens When I Need To Complain About
My Licence Holder Or His Services?....................1 • “licence holder” or “licence holders” refers to
3. How Should I Word My Complaint To The Licence those persons or organisations which are
Holder? .................................................................2 licensed by the Malta Financial Services
4. What Happens If I Am Still Not Satisfied With The Authority to provide any type of financial
Way My Complaint Has Been Handled By The service to consumers. These include banks,
Licence Holder?....................................................2 insurance companies, life insurance companies,
5. Who Is The Consumer Complaints Manager? ......2 stockbrokers, investment services licence
6. How Can The Complaints Manager Help?...........3 holders, financial institutions, insurance agents,
7. Can The Complaints Manager Help With All insurance sub-agents and insurance brokers.
8. Would The Complaints Manager Be Able To Help
Me If My Complaint Is Against A Foreign
Financial Services Provider?................................3 1. WHY WOULD I NEED TO FILE A COMPLAINT?
9. What’s The First Step To Complaining?...............3
Sometimes you are not happy with a financial product
10. What If This Does Not Resolve The Complaint?...4
or service. This may not be anyone’s fault but simply
11. Is There A Deadline For Making A Complaint To because of the nature of the product.
The Complaints Manager?....................................4
12. What Information Will The Complaints Manager For example, you might be investing regularly to
build up a target sum and the investment might not
13. What Happens Next?.............................................4
grow as fast as you had hoped. If the final value fails
14. Is There Any Charge For Using The Consumer to meet your target, you may feel disappointed. The
Complaints Service? .............................................4
fact that investments grow at unpredictable rates, and
15. Can Someone Complain On Your Behalf?............4 can fall as well as rise in value, is not usually a valid
16. Is Financial Or Legal Expertise Needed To Bring reason for complaint.
A Complaint To The Complaints Manager? .........4
17. Is Bringing A Complaint To The Complaints In some cases, though, a financial product or service
Manager Like Going To Court?............................5
turns out badly because the licence holder you dealt
18. Can Businesses Use The Complaints Manager As with did something wrong. For example, you may
have been overcharged or given bad advice or poor
19. Will Anyone Else See The Complaint Details? .....5 service. If so, you’ll want to get matters put right.
20. Can The MFSA Sanction Licence Holders Or
Fine Them? ...........................................................5
21. How Can The Complaints Manager Be 2. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I NEED TO COMPLAIN
ABOUT MY LICENCE HOLDER OR HIS SERVICES?
You have the right to lodge a complaint against your
In this document: licence holder if you think that the service he has
provided you is not up to standard.
• “MFSA” or “Authority” refers to the Malta
Financial Services Authority, the financial
Your first step is to decide what you want to achieve.
Sometimes it can be a matter of seeking an
explanation or to put things right. It’s very important
to ask for an explanation right away if you have a • Every time you write, keep a copy of your own
problem or there is something which you cannot letter for reference.
understand. If however, you believe that you have not • If you phone the licence holder or have a meeting,
obtained a satisfactory response to your queries, you then make a note of the date, the name of the
may need to make a formal complaint. person you talked to and the main points made by
each of you. We recommend that you write a
If you have a complaint, we would recommend that follow-up letter to confirm what was said or
you first try to resolve it with your licence holder. agreed.
Going back to the licence holder makes sense. He can
easily check his records to see what has happened and
he is best placed to put matters right. Try to contact 4. WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM STILL NOT SATISFIED
the person who you originally dealt with. He should WITH THE WAY MY COMPLAINT HAS BEEN
be familiar with your case. If the person is no longer HANDLED BY THE LICENCE HOLDER?
working with the licence holder, ask for the
Compliance Officer or other senior official instead. If you are still not satisfied and you feel that you have
You may also contact the Malta Financial Services exhausted all possible ways to resolve your complaint,
Authority if the licence holder has stopped trading. then you can contact the Consumer Complaints
Manager at the Malta Financial Services Authority to
If you can’t sort things out, say that you want to take lodge your complaint.
the matter further. If you are still not happy with the
outcome or the way your problem has been handled, We welcome hearing from you because your
ask to talk to the Compliance Officer, the General complaint may be the one that alerts us to a bad
Manager or Managing Director, or whoever is the intermediary or an unfair practice that needs to be
most senior person in the organisation. We strongly changed.
recommend that you make your complaint in writing
(read further below).
5. WHO IS THE CONSUMER COMPLAINTS
3. HOW SHOULD I WORD MY COMPLAINT TO THE The Complaints Manager is an official of the Malta
LICENCE HOLDER? Financial Services Authority, which is responsible for
You can phone direct to the licence holder to make a regulating financial services in Malta.
complaint but make sure you note the name of the
person you spoke to and the date and time you called. The role of the Complaints Manager is to provide
Keep this in a safe place – it is a record of your consumers of financial services with a free service for
complaint. investigating complaints against licence holders.
Following your phone call with a letter is important. The Complaints Manager may be able to help if you
Your letter needs to be clear, simple and to include have a complaint you cannot sort out with your:
essential information. You are less likely to get a good
result if your letter is sarcastic or abusive. • bank
• intermediary providing investment services
Here are some points which you could follow: • insurance company
• It does not matter if your letter is in Maltese or in • insurance intermediary (such as an agent, broker
English. Don’t worry about grammatical errors – or sub-agent)
express yourself to the best of your abilities. • stockbroker
• Write “Complaint” at the top of your letter.
• If possible, type the letter or write clearly in black The Complaints Manager will assist to resolve
or blue ink – in case it needs to be photocopied. consumer complaints about, for example:
• Include any reference numbers, for example, for
the product you bought, the account you hold, or a • banking services
customer reference. • credit cards
• State your case clearly, including relevant dates. • financial and investment advice
Put down the dates in a sensible order. Avoid • general insurance
unnecessary detail and repetition. Be firm but • life assurance
remain polite. • investment and fund management
• Send copies of documents (if these are relevant) • home loans
but always hold on to the original documents. • financial products
The Complaints Manager considers each case Manager if the licence holder is authorised by the
impartially and on its merits, after discussing it with Maltese financial regulator.
all parties concerned including yourself.
If you have a complaint against a foreign financial
services provider which is not authorised by the
6. HOW CAN THE COMPLAINTS MANAGER HELP? Authority, your complaint will normally be handled
by a complaint body which operates in the country
If the Complaints Manager decides that a complaint where the financial services provider is located.
against a licence holder appears to be justified and
you have lost out as a result, he can recommend and If you have a complaint against a financial services
suggest how the licence holder could put things right provider located in another country, you may either:
• identify the relevant out-of court complaint
Generally, his aim is to put you in the position you
scheme in the country of the financial services
would be in if things had not gone wrong. This might
provider and contact that body directly by visiting
include recommending the licence holder to offer you
www.fin-net.eu. This is the link to FIN-NET’s
a remedy. However, his decisions are not binding on
website, the network of out-of-court dispute
the licence holder. This means that the licence holder
resolution bodies for financial services of
may choose not to accept his recommendation. When
countries forming the European Union and
this happens, he will suggest that you seek
European Economic Area, or
professional legal advice.
• contact the Complaints Manager which will help
On the other hand, if the Complaints Manager thinks
you identify the relevant complaint scheme in the
the licence holder has treated you fairly or is already
country of the financial services provider and will
offering you adequate compensation, he will tell you
give all the necessary information about the
scheme and its complaints procedure. If you
decide to file a complaint, you can leave it with
the Complaints Manager, which will hand it over
7. CAN THE COMPLAINTS MANAGER HELP WITH
to the relevant scheme in the service provider's
ALL FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS?
country. In some cases it might be more efficient
The Complaints Manager considers complaints about if you contact the relevant scheme directly, and in
most financial products and services provided from these cases the Complaints Manager will suggest
Malta – from insurance to bank accounts and that you do so.
You may also use the FIN-NET form for cross-border
However, he is not able to give any advice about financial services complaints, which contains an
financial matters. explanation of the steps to be taken, as a first entry
point into FIN-NET. For further information on how
Moreover, there are some complaints which he cannot to use FIN-NET and for a list of FIN-NET members
usually help with, including complaints about: and their characteristics, please visit www.fin-net.eu
or contact the Complaints Manager for more
• a licence holder’s proper use of its ‘commercial information.
judgement’ (for example, when it decides whether
to give someone a loan, what insurance premium
to charge, or what surrender value or with-profits 9. WHAT’S THE FIRST STEP TO COMPLAINING?
bonus to pay).
As stated above, if you have a problem with a
• The way an investment has performed. financial product or service, you should first complain
to the licence holder which has provided you with the
service or sold the product to you. This gives the
8. WOULD THE COMPLAINTS MANAGER BE ABLE licence holder the chance to put things right at an
TO HELP ME IF MY COMPLAINT IS AGAINST A
early stage. In many cases, the licence holder will be
FOREIGN FINANCIAL SERVICES PROVIDER?
able to sort out your problem itself, without the
Complaints Manager’s intervention.
The Complaints Manager can review complaints
against financial services licence holders authorised
by the MFSA. This means that, wherever you reside,
you may lodge a complaint with the Complaints
10. WHAT IF THIS DOES NOT RESOLVE THE review the facts objectively and let you and the
COMPLAINT? licence holder know how he thinks you could reach
The Complaints Manager can get involved if:
• The licence holder has sent you its final response If he cannot resolve the complaint this way, the
to your complaint and you are still not satisfied. Complaints Manager will begin a full investigation
• The licence holder has not sent you its final into the case with the assistance of the regulatory unit
response within two months from your complaint. concerned. It may take some time before he can get to
the bottom of your complaint.
The Complaints Manager may also be able to help if
you are having difficulty contacting the licence holder Once the investigation has been completed, the
or are unsure what to do next. Complaints Manager will inform you of the outcome
of his investigation.
See below for details of how to contact the
Complaints Manager. However, there may be cases where the Complaints
Manager would need to submit a report to the
Supervisory Council at the Authority with any
11. IS THERE A DEADLINE FOR MAKING A recommendations he may have on how the complaint
COMPLAINT TO THE COMPLAINTS MANAGER? could be resolved. This Council is made up of the
We would prefer if you contact the Complaints Director General and the Directors of the financial
Manager as soon after you are informed by your services units at MFSA.
licence holder that your case has not been upheld or if
you are unhappy with the outcome of your complaint. The Supervisory Council will then instruct the
Moreover, you should not allow much time to pass to Complaints Manager to inform you with its
lodge a complaint with the Complaints Manager from recommendations. The Authority’s recommendation
when you first became aware of the circumstances is neither binding on the licence holder nor on the
giving cause to the complaint. customer. This means that the licence holder or the
consumer may choose not to accept the
recommendation of the MFSA. In this event you are
12. WHAT INFORMATION WILL THE COMPLAINTS free to seek other remedies, including court action.
MANAGER NEED? However, the Complaints Manager cannot give you
any legal advice.
Before he can get involved with your complaint, the
Complaints Manager will need your personal details
and information about your complaint – including 14. IS THERE ANY CHARGE FOR USING THE
what you would like the licence holder to do to put CONSUMER COMPLAINTS SERVICE?
The service offered by the Complaints Manager is free
Usually, we would ask you to make your complaint in to consumers of financial services.
writing by using the complaint form which is
available from www.mfsa.com.mt/consumer or the
licence holder. In some circumstances, we would be 15. CAN SOMEONE COMPLAIN ON YOUR BEHALF?
willing to consider complaints by phone or in person. No one can complain on your behalf unless he/she is
making representations in your presence or with your
He will also ask you to enclose copies of any written authority after you have submitted your
documents relevant to your complaint, including any personal details. Such person, who may be a member
letter from the licence holder setting out its decision. of your family, a friend or a professional adviser must
disclose his identity and/or written authority and
Usually, you will be asked to give permission to the relationship with you to the Complaints Manager
Complaints Manager to request the licence holder to before he can discuss your personal details with that
disclose copies of documents and information relating person.
to your complaint (which may be personal) .
16. IS FINANCIAL OR LEGAL EXPERTISE NEEDED
13. WHAT HAPPENS NEXT? TO BRING A COMPLAINT TO THE COMPLAINTS
If your complaint can be handled by the Complaints MANAGER?
Manager, he will first seek to help you and the licence No. The service offered by the Complaints Manager is
holder resolve matters in an informal way. He will free and informal. So you should not need special
expertise or the help of a professional adviser. The 21. HOW CAN THE COMPLAINTS MANAGER BE
Manager decides if your complaint is valid by looking CONTACTED?
at the facts of the case – not at the way you present
your complaint. You can contact the Complaints Manager as follows:
If you do decide to employ a professional person to In writing:
present your case for you (for example, a lawyer) then Consumer Complaints Manager
you will almost certainly have to pay the professional Malta Financial Services Authority
fees yourself. Do not expect to get these costs back Notabile Road, Attard BKR3000
from either the Authority or the licence holder, even if Malta
the Complaints Manager decides your complaint is
valid. By e-mail:
17. IS BRINGING A COMPLAINT TO THE By phone:
COMPLAINTS MANAGER LIKE GOING TO Freephone (00356) 800 74924
or normal MFSA lines (00356) 2144 1155
No. The Complaints Manager deals with complaints
in a different way from the courts. The MFSA's Consumer Helpline can also be accessed
from overseas. Callers from abroad will need to dial
He generally investigates cases on the basis of the 00356 80074924. Call rates of the respective foreign
paperwork that you and the licence holder provide, telecom operator apply. You can also use the above
and by discussing and corresponding on the merits of numbers to make an appointment.
the complaint with the parties involved. He will not
handle a case which has already been considered by a
court or an out-of-court dispute resolution process (or For more information visit:
where court proceedings are pending). www.mfsa.com.mt/consumer
18. CAN BUSINESSES USE THE COMPLAINTS
MANAGER AS WELL?
The services of the Complaints Manager are available
to private consumers only. Therefore, he cannot
consider complaints from businesses.
19. WILL ANYONE ELSE SEE THE COMPLAINT
To deal with the complaint effectively, the Complaints
Manager will need to exchange information about
your case with other MFSA officers and may need to
disclose such information to the licence holder. All
personal details will be treated with sensitivity and
20. CAN THE MFSA SANCTION LICENCE
HOLDERS OR FINE THEM?
The Supervisory Council may sanction a licence
holder if it finds that it has violated any rules issued
by the Authority. However, the Complaints Manager
will not divulge the Authority’s decision in this
This document has been revised in May 2008.