ERC and Vox ask to return the bill, since they consider that the new body is not necessary


Congress discussed this week with experts from the financial and legal sectors the bill by which the Government wants to establish the Financial Client Authority, a new body that would unify the current claims systems in Spain to resolve conflicts between customers and banks.

The new agency would assume the functions that now fall to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the Bank of Spain and the General Directorate of Insurance and Pension Funds, the latter body reporting to the Ministry of Economic Affairs. To finance the new supervisory agency, the Government proposes a fee of 250 euros that banks should pay in the event that a customer claim is admitted for processing by this body.

This point has been one of the most discussed and most questioned during the week of appearances by experts, since they warn that claims for an amount less than 250 euros could be admitted for processing and thus cause an increase in these complaints by the clients.

The most critical position was that of the Spanish Banking Association (AEB). Its general secretary, Javier Rodríguez Pellitero, warned on Wednesday about the possibility that the new authority was unconstitutional, both due to the invasion of jurisdiction in judicial matters and the fee of 250 euros that banks would have to pay each time they accept processing a customer complaint.

For the general secretary of AEB, “it does not make any sense” and could generate a situation of “impossibility of economic rationality” for the banks to be able to defend their position in the face of a claim.

Despite the fact that the Government believes that with the rate of 250 euros it would discourage going to court, the bank employers believe that the opposite would happen. In fact, Rodríguez Pellitero warned here about the risk of this rate causing a so-called effect of the “litigation industry” against banks. This “industry” that Pellitero referred to is made up of lawyers for clients who insist on litigating with banks for their own benefit.

In this way, the representative of the bank explained that the case of a claim campaign articulated by a group of clients against a maintenance commission of an entity lower than the rate of 250 euros can be given.

Although the commission is “perfectly lawful”, since the claim is firm, the bank in question would have to choose between paying those 80 euros, despite everything being in order, or paying 250 euros of the fee once the claim has been filed with the Authority .

The governor of the Bank of Spain, Pablo Hernández De Cos, also spoke on this matter, who also pointed out that this could cause an increase in conflicts between banks and their customers.

To avoid these potential problems, Hernández De Cos invited to explore other alternatives such as, for example, requiring the collection of the fee based on the number of claims against an entity, and not merely those processed.

For his part, the president of the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Rodrigo Buenaventura, raised doubts about the rate, so that although the number of agreements between financial institutions and users could increase, which is the intention of the government; it could also lead to more complaints from customers.

Esquerra Republicana (ERC) and Vox have presented amendments to the entire bill to establish the new Financial Client Authority.

As can be seen from the Vox and ERC amendments, to which Europa Press has had access, this new public body is not necessary, either because the current system works or because there are other ways that do not imply the creation of a new entity.

In the case of Catalan training, they understand that it would be enough to make existing alternative conflict resolution systems mandatory, such as consumer arbitration. On the part of Vox, they believe that the current system of extrajudicial claims fulfills its function “in an efficient and effective way.”