Office of the Ombudsman
The Banking Ombudsman
The Swiss Banking Ombudsman is an independent mediator whose services are free of charge. He deals with specific complaints which are raised against banks based in Switzerland.
The Banking Ombudsman also runs a Central Claims Office for persons searching for dormant assets.
The institution Swiss Banking Ombudsman took up its duties in April 1993. Since then the office is well established and deals with an increasing number of enquiries (currently about 2000 a year). Marco Franchetti is the actual Banking Ombudsman since July 2013. He is supported by a multilingual team of lawyers, economists and bankingspecialists.
The office of the Swiss Banking Ombudsman is supported by the Swiss Banking Ombudsman Foundation, established by the Swiss Bankers Association. The Board of the Foundation consists of independent public personalities and appoints the Ombudsman. Its president is Annemarie Huber-Hotz, who previously acted as Federal Chancellor.
Alternative dispute resolution or mediation to settle conflicts has proved helpful in many countries and in a variety of areas.
The Banking Ombudsman is independent and neutral. He can provide reliable information and act as a mediator in disputes, helping to avoid costly and sometimes lengthy legal proceedings. The Banking Ombudsman does not have the role of a state court, but simply promotes discussion between the parties.
Instead of acting as a judge, he mediates between the parties and works towards an amicable solution. The parties are not bound by his proposal, but may choose either to accept it or to take other – for example legal – steps. However, experience has shown that, thanks to the expertise of the Banking Ombudsman, negotiated solutions tend to be accepted.
The mediation services of the Banking Ombudsman are free of charge for the banking customer.
The Ombudsman treats inquiries strictly confidential. He only contacts a bank with the applicant’s permission.