Where to seek assistance in case of dispute with a financial institution

modification date 28 September 2018

Step 1
Complaint at the financial institution

First of all, you should submit a complaint directly to the financial institution, stating your reservations a service it provides or a product it offers.  You should also specify your expectations related to the manner the complaint should be handled. In case a problem occurs in relation to making a complaint, you may use help from institutions indicated in Step 2.
Financial institutions are obliged to reply to a complaint without undue delay but not later than within 30 days from the receipt of the complaint.
In particularly complicated cases, where it is impossible to handle the complaint and reply within the above term, the reply may be given within a deadline not exceeding 60 days from the receipt of the complaint. In such a situation, the financial institution is obliged to provide reasons for the delay, indicate circumstances to be established in order to handle the case and define the expected date when the complaint is handled and the reply is given.

Step 2
Advice and intervention

An advice on disputes with financial service providers can be obtained from the Financial Ombudsman and municipal or district consumer ombudsmen or non-governmental consumers’ organisations such as the Consumer Federation and the Polish Consumers’ Association.
Consumer ombudsmen and consumers’ organisations provide advice free-of-charge, offer legal information on consumer protection, intervene on behalf and for the benefit of consumers, help them take legal action and in its course.
The Financial Ombudsman handles complaints and individual submissions related to dismissal of a complaint by a financial service provider which the customer deems unjustified. The Financial Ombudsman may take legal action on behalf of a customer of financial service providers in cases concerning dishonest market practices related to the activities of such entities and also take part in pending proceedings provided the plaintiff consents.

Step 3
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)

If both parties agree, a  financial market dispute may be settled out of court. There are three main ADR measures that offer the opportunity to settle a dispute out of court.
Arbitration Court at the PFSA
Financial Ombudsman
Bank Consumer Arbitration

Step 4
Taking your dispute to the court of common jurisdiction

If the dispute with the financial institution could not be settled using solutions described in Steps 1–3, it is possible to seek redress by way of a civil lawsuit. In this case, it also may be reasonable to take advantage of professional advice. Legal assistance may be obtained free of charge from consumer ombudsmen and consumers’ organisations. Professional legal assistance is offered on paid basis by law firms.