The Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier - CSSF) oversees financial instrument markets and its operators.
Il also offers the out-of-court resolution for consumer complaints by clients of the professionals of the financial sector who are under its supervision.
The CSSF's out-of-court resolution of disputes procedure is free of charge and provided on a voluntary basis. It aims to simplify the resolution of disputes without the need for legal proceedings.
Who is concerned
This procedure is available to the clients of professionals who operate in the sector of activity that is subject to supervision by the Luxembourg Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF).
Said professionals are, among others:
- financial businesses, holdings;
- investment firms;
- professionals of the financial sector (specialists or support professionals);
- authorised management companies;
- alternative investment fund managers;
- liability managers;
- undertakings for collective investment;
- pension funds (pension savings companies with variable capital - SEPCAV - and pension savings associations - ASSEP);
- securitisation vehicles;
- fiduciary representatives intervening with a securitisation vehicle;
- payment institutions and electronic money institutions.
The CSSF does not have the competence to deal with claims relating to entities in the insurance sector.
Opening the procedure for an out-of-court settlement of claims with the Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) is subject to the condition that the claim:
- has been previously dealt with by the executive management of the professional concerned;
- has not previously been, or is not currently being examined by another ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) entity, an arbitrator, an arbitration tribunal, or a court, either in Luxembourg or abroad;
- does not relate to the professional's commercial policies;
- concerns a financial product or service;
- is not abusive, fanciful or vexatious;
- does not prevent the operation of the CSSF.
The complaint must always first be sent, in writing, to the complaints manager at the executive level of the professional concerned.
If, within a period of one month from the sending of the complaint to the person responsible for handling complaints at the executive level of the professional concerned, no satisfactory response or no response at all is obtained, a request for an out-of-court resolution of this dispute may be submitted to the Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF).
A complaint can be submitted to the CSSF within one year from the date on which the complaint to the professional concerned was lodged.
Claims are processed free of charge. In addition, no costs are reimbursed to the parties.
How to proceed
The mission of the Financial Sector Supervisory Commission (CSSF) is to facilitate the amicable resolution of the dispute between the parties concerned.
Claims are processed by the legal department "Consumer Protection/Financial Crime".
However, the reasoned conclusions of the CSSF are not binding on the parties.
Submission of disputes
To initiate the out-of-court complaint resolution process, the applicant can fill out the form for submitting an out-of-court complaint resolution to the Financial Sector Supervisory Board (CSSF).
The application form can be sent to the CSSF:
- by post (a standard letter is sufficient, registered mail is optional);
- by fax;
- by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The application must be submitted in French, Luxembourgish, German or English. The procedure will, in principle, take place in the language in which the application was lodged.
The request for an out-of-court complaint resolution can also be made online, directly on the CSSF's website, by using their online service.
Each application must be duly motivated and accompanied by the following documents:
- a chronological and detailed description of the facts underlying the complaint, as well as of the steps already taken with the professional against whom the complaint was made;
- a copy of the initial complaint addressed to the person responsible for complaint handling at the level of the management of the professional;
- either a copy of the response to the complaint received from the professional or a written statement indicating that no answer was received within one month from the day on which the complaint was sent;
- a confirmation that no court, arbitrator or other out-of-court resolution body is currently handling the case in Luxembourg or abroad;
- a declaration expressly stating the acceptance of the terms for an intervention of the CSSF as an out-of-court settlement body with respect to the dispute;
- a declaration granting the CSSF the authorisation to transmit the complaint (including attachments), as well as any future correspondence or information, to the professional concerned by the complaint;
- a copy of a valid identity document of the applicant (even if the applicant is represented before the CSSF by another person);
- if the applicant is represented by another person, it is necessary to attach a document certifying the power of representation of said person to the complaint. If the applicant is acting on behalf of a legal person, he must attach a document attesting his power of representation;
- if the complaint involves more than one person (e.g. opening of a collective account), a power of attorney from all interested parties must be attached to the out-of-court resolution request. This will allow, if applicable, a single person to represent each person at the same time. These powers of attorney enable the CSSF to verify that all persons concerned have been informed of the procedure and that they have given their consent for the submission of the application.
Any other document that is potentially useful for a proper understanding of the dispute with the professional concerned can also be attached to the complaint.
In case there are additional documents, they can be attached to the complaint file and sent to email@example.com by email.
If the file is sent by post, original documents must be kept and only copies of the documents should be enclosed in the mail. If the CSSF needs the originals, it will request them.
Copies of the transmitted documents do not need to be certified.
Complaints are normally processed in writing. However, if the CSSF deems it useful for the examination of the case, it may set up one or more interviews with the interested parties.
The parties have access to the procedure without having to call upon a lawyer or legal counsel.
However, they may be represented throughout the procedure by a third party (a lawyer, a Luxembourg or foreign adviser, a relative or an association, for example a consumer protection association). The third party does not need any particular qualifications.
Within 3 weeks of receiving the complete application, the CSSF informs the parties it accepts to process the complaint. Otherwise, the CSSF will provide both parties with a detailed explanation of why it does not agree to process the application.
The application is complete when all the documents and information necessary for the processing of the application have been received by the CSSF. This includes, in particular, the explanations specifically requested by the CSSF from the professional against whom the complaint is directed.
The CSSF will report its findings within 90 days of the date on which the application is considered complete.
The CSSF can extend the initial deadline if confronted with extremely complex cases. In this case, the CSSF will inform the parties in good time of the extension of the deadline.
The CSSF's reasoned conclusion
When the analysis of the case is completed, the CSSF sends its conclusion with the reasons for their decision in writing to the parties.
If the CSSF concludes that the application is wholly or partly justified, it will invite the parties to contact each other in order to settle their dispute in the light of the reasoned conclusion and to inform it of any action taken.
If the CSSF comes to the conclusion that the parties' positions are irreconcilable or unverifiable, it will inform the parties in writing.
The parties are informed that the conclusions reached by the CSSF following the analysis of the case may differ from the decision of a court applying the legal provisions.
Furthermore, the parties are informed that the reasoned conclusions of the CSSF are not binding on the parties, they are free to accept or refuse to follow them.
In the conclusion, the parties are also informed of the possibility of lodging an appeal through court proceedings, in particular if they do not reach an agreement following the issuance of the reasoned conclusion by the CSSF.
The CSSF asks the parties, in its reasoned conclusion, to inform it within a reasonable time limit indicated in the letter if they have decided to refuse, accept or follow the solution proposed by the CSSF.
Forms / Online services
Request for out-of-court complaint resolution with the CSSF
Introduction d’une demande de résolution extrajudiciaire de réclamation auprès de la CSSF
Einreichung eines Antrags auf außergerichtliche Beilegung von Beschwerden bei der CSSF