Enquiries

Step 1: Answer questions

According to his rules, the Banking Ombudsman is competent to mediate it a member bank of the Swiss Bankers Association is involved, i.e. practically every bank in Switzerland. He cannot help in case of problems with branch offices or subsidiaries of Swiss banks located abroad.

The Ombudsman can only handle complaints if the customer can substantiate a damage or disadvantage. Thus, complaints concerning for example inadequate or unfriendly treatment should be directed to the management of the respective bank.

Contact the bank first and ask for a written reply to your claim. Should you not be satisfied with the bank’s response, you can contact the Banking Ombudsman.

If an official agency (e.g. a court, administration or enforcement authority) is already involved, the Banking Ombudsman usually cannot become active.

Step 2: Documents
  • Provide a clear description of the facts, the problem and your complaint in letter form.
  • Make copies of the relevant documents (contracts, correspondence with the bank, receipts; do not enclose originals).
  • Describe what you wish to accomplish (What do you want to obtain from your bank? On what grounds? On what basis have you calculated your loss?).

Please copy the necessary documents and answer the questions in our Authorisation form.

Step 3: Application / Mail
  • In order to intervene, we need your written authorisation for the bank to disclose information to the Ombudsman.
  • Fill in the authorisation form.
  • Any other questions? Do not hesitate to call us.
    +41 43 266 14 14 German/English

  • Post to:
    Swiss Banking Ombudsman
  • Bahnhofplatz 9 P.O. Box CH-8021 Zurich

    or

  • Email: please scan all above-mentioned documents first before uploading and sending them here.
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More information

Most people initially seek advice by telephone. Many enquiries can be resolved directly, either by clarifying the situation or by explaining a complicated procedure step by step. In more complex cases, the person raising the complaint is asked to give full details. The Ombudsman will generally also need to approach the bank himself for an explanation to ensure that his final assessment is as comprehensive and objective as possible.

The Banking Ombudsman is free to take any steps he considers necessary before forming his own independent opinion, such as asking the bank for documents and information.

Restrictions

It should be borne in mind that the Banking Ombudsman cannot influence the banks in matters of business or fee policy. He is therefore neither empowered to question decisions regarding credit extensions, nor to challenge fee schedules.

Other cases may be so complex that they fall outside the scope of the Ombudsman process or the Ombudsman may advise the customer or his representative to apply directly to the courts on other grounds. Furthermore, the Banking Ombudsman declines competence in abstract legal and business questions and does not provide an expert opinion.

Processing Time/Date Limitation

The Ombudsman process usually takes about one to two months. Straightforward cases can often be handled faster, while complex issues take longer.

It should be noted that normal time limits (statute of limitations) are not suspended by a consultation of the Banking Ombudsman.

The procedure in brief