Bad faith or misunderstanding, to be heard by your bank can be a real challenge if you don’t have a large bank account. Unfortunately, bank disputes are commonplace… So what to do if you are in conflict with your bank?
Bank dispute : how to act ?
Calm, dialogue and compromise..
As is often the case, trying an amicable procedure remains the best thing to do at first to try to resolve your dispute easily and without costs.
Your first contact is your bank. A priori, you should therefore contact, in hierarchical order:
– Your usual bank advisor
– The bank manager at the local level
– The customer service dedicated to the processing of disputes at the national level
The first contact with your advisor can be made by telephone, appointment at the bank or e-mail. If no solution emerges, don’t hesitate to take it up a notch.
… Radio silence or outright refusal: call the manager!
Depending on the state of your relations with your advisor or if he/she refuses to listen to reason, go directly to the branch manager and/or to the competent customer service at the national level to settle disputes.
All banks have a dedicated department with a more or less evocative name (look it up on the website).
In general, if you do not get a response from either of them after two months, you can consider this silence as a refusal to follow up on your request.
As soon as the situation starts to escalate and from the moment you address the customer service, always send your letter by registered mailwithacknowledgment of receipt.
Banking dispute : who to contact ?
If you don’t get anywhere using the soft method with your bank, it is possible to appeal to the bank mediator.
Amicable procedure always, the bank mediator like the insurance mediator is an independent and impartial expert in charge of giving an opinion on your case.
Conditions for referring a matter to the mediator
In order to fall within the competence of the mediator, the banking dispute must relate to ” a service provided and the performance of contracts “. Concretely, this means that the mediator is competent for anything related to:
– The management of your bank accounts (current account, savings, etc.),
– Means of payment (card, check, transfer, etc.),
– Savings products (savings plan, etc.),
– Insurance contracts offered by the bank (life insurance, etc.),
– Credits (repayment, redemption, etc.),
– Financial instruments, etc.
Some examples of disputes: a service invoiced at a different cost than the one announced, an error on the TEG, a disagreement on the terms and conditions of early credit repayment, a dispute on the use of a savings book, an error for a real estate loan etc.
On the other hand, the mediator does not deal with:
– Refusals to grant a credit,
– The decision to refuse to open a bank account,
– Complaints directed against bank tariffs if they are clearly stated.
These issues are indeed the full and complete freedom of the bank. It can quite decide on its tariff policy as it sees fit and accept or refuse certain “risky” customers without justification…
The scope of action of the mediator is therefore limited. Find out more before you act because about 1/3 of complaints would be deemed inadmissible by the mediator every year.
Good to know: professionals and their bank
If you are a professional, banks are not legally obliged to offer you the name of a mediator. However, they can choose to do so. Check your account agreement to see if mediation is provided for.
How to proceed ?
You can refer the matter to the mediator directly online or by mail.
It is completely free of charge. You need to fill in a precise file and provide all the supporting documents for your claim as well as the history of your exchanges with the bank (which you must keep!).
Where can you find your mediator?
There are about 200 mediators spread throughout the country. The bank is required to appoint an independent mediator to deal with potential disputes between its institution and its customers. Normally, the name of your ombudsman should appear on your account statements and/or account agreement. If you can’t find it, look for it on the bank’s website.
When should you consider mediation?
You can refer the matter to the mediator if:
– You have already tried to resolve the dispute with your bank (you will need to prove contact with the bank’s customer service)
– BUT you have not yet started legal proceedings.
Focus on the 4 most frequent disputes:
Rejected cheques (NSF cheques), abusive unauthorized overdraft fees, unreasonable account maintenance fees, closing a bank account without notice are the most common disputes submitted to the mediator.
The mediator generally provides a response within approximately 90 days (the timeframe may be extended in the event of a particularly complex case).
He proposes a solution that the parties are free to accept or refuse. In other words, if you are not satisfied with the answer, you can quite rightly take the matter to court. The mediator’s opinion is purely advisory and does not bind you.
Be aware, however, that a negative opinion may be a clue to what awaits you in court.
A bank litigation attorney?
If you have in mind to initiate legal proceedings, you will need a lawyer. You can initiate legal proceedings from the very beginning of your disputes with the bank, even if going through the amicable way is generally recommended to resolve the simplest disputes quickly.
If you are lost, do not hesitate to consult a lawyer to benefit from the advice of a specialist, even if you do not have the goal of initiating a contentious procedure.
Granting the services of a lawyer specialized in banking law can really enlighten you on the possible outcomes for your case. Indeed, this one knows the banking institutions well. If you have to go to court against a big bank, it is essential to take a professional who knows the underbelly of the business world and the springs of banking law.
Find out more before consulting a professional because in general, the world of lawyers in banking law is divided into 2 categories of lawyers: those who defend the banks and those who defend the customers!
Don’t forget to bring all the useful documents from the first consultation to be efficient (correspondence with the credit institution, signed contracts, etc.).
Concerning the cost of a lawyer specialized in banking law, it can be expensive compared to the potential gain…
Indeed, the overwhelming majority of banking litigations concern small sums of money (litigations lower than 4 000 €). Claims over €10,000 are rare (less than 1% of disputes). Therefore, if your dispute concerns a small amount, it is likely that you will lose more money than you will gain. On the other hand, certain disputes involving sufficiently large sums of money or serious breaches by the bank may require the assistance of a professional who will accompany you in your legal action.
What is the Lombard year? Are you facing a banking problem? This article explains all the tips you need to know to find the right banking lawyer. The missions of the lawyer in banking law Why consult a lawyer in banking law? Litigation concerned by the lawyer in banking law? Deciphering.
The missions of the lawyer
The banking law, it is the whole of the legal rules which govern the activity of the banks also called credit institutions.
The lawyers in banking law are competent for the litigations:
– Between private or professional clients and their credit institution (their bank),
– Which oppose actors of the banking sector between them.
Banking lawyers can therefore act to defend the interests of banks, financial professionals, or consumers who are clients of a financial institution.
Concerning consumers, the most common disputes are
– Credit card fraud / scams,
– Disputes concerning account maintenance fees,
– Disputes concerning consumer credits,
– Disputes concerning the TEG of real estate loans,
– Disputes concerning the presence of a calculation based on a lombard year,
– Disputes concerning the guarantee of a real estate loan,
– Disputes concerning overindebtedness,
– Problems related to checks,
– Real estate credit transaction,
– Calculation of an interest rate,
– Current account pricing,
– National/transnational transfers,
– Closing or transfer of accounts,
Banking lawyers can be solicited by banks, professionals of the financial sector, or by clients of credit institutions (in case of bank fraud).
If you have a dispute with a bank, you should consult an expert lawyer in banking law or a lawyer specialized in banking law.
Banking law is a very technical, dense and complex area of law. The high degree of complexity of this field makes the assistance of a banking lawyer indispensable.
Did you know?
Since 2001, the MURCEF law has required banking institutions to provide customers who so desire with a mediation service dedicated to the amicable settlement of their disputes with customers.
Why consult a lawyer in banking law?
When you have a dispute with your bank, you should consult a lawyer in banking law.
Out-of-court settlements without the intervention of a banking lawyer have very little chance of success: credit institutions give little importance (and little interest) to requests not initiated by a lawyer.
On the other hand, a written request formulated on a letter in the name of a law firm seems to hold their attention much better.
The banking lawyer has the knowledge and experience necessary to oppose a credit institution.
The procedure against the banks generally provides for an attempt at amicable resolution and then, if necessary, a contentious action before the judges.
The banking lawyer will try to obtain an amicable settlement with your bank.
“A good agreement is better than a bad trial
The lawyer will always favour an attempt at amicable resolution or an amicable agreement to resolve your dispute without a trial. If the bank accepts the principle of amicable resolution of the dispute, the banking law attorney in charge of defending your interests will work to negotiate the most favorable agreement possible for you. This agreement is formalized by the drafting of a written agreement containing all the terms and conditions of the agreement.
The banking lawyer will defend your interests before the judges if necessary: the banking litigation
If your lawyer does not manage to reach an amicable agreement, he will direct you to a contentious procedure, which will be held before the courts: it is a judge who will decide the case.
The role of your banking lawyer will be to manage the whole procedure:
– Organize and follow the pre-litigation negotiations,
– To draw up the preparatory acts for the initiation of a legal claim,
– Represent you before the court,
Why go through a lawyer whose activity is only focused on banking law?
Banking law is a very technical matter that requires a perfect mastery of legal fields such as consumer law, banking law, securities law, to which many mathematical and financial fields are added.
Your banking lawyer must have a perfect command of all this knowledge to guarantee a perfect defense of your interests.
Did you know?
As soon as you call on a lawyer, the latter must obligatorily conclude a fee agreement with his client setting out the terms and conditions for determining his fees (Article 10 of Decree No. 2005-790 of July 12, 2005 on the rules of ethics of the legal profession, amended by Decree No. 2017-1226 of August 2, 2017).
How to choose a lawyer in banking law?
We offer you some tips and useful to best choose your banking law attorney.
Think about it:
You may not remember, but you may have purchased a legal protection policy option in your home insurance policy.
This can be useful to you in that it can in some cases and under certain conditions come and take care of all or part of the costs and legal fees.
If you don’t have your home insurance contract at hand, you can contact your insurer directly who will inform you.
Always remember that it is important to favor a banking law attorney regarding a banking law dispute. Calling on a generalist lawyer may not be sufficient regarding a subject as complex as banking law.
The cost of hiring a banking law attorney should not be a deterrent to your action. Only this legal professional will be able to support you in your steps.