The CSSF is competent to receive complaints from customers (natural or legal persons) of the professionals subject to its supervision and to act as an intermediary in order to seek an amicable settlement of these complaints.
The CSSF acts in its capacity of alternative dispute resolution (“ADR”) entity, notably pursuant to the European legislation relating to the out-of-court resolution of consumer disputes that was transposed into Luxembourg law and introduced into the Consumer Code in 2016.
The CSSF is registered on the list of ADR entities within the meaning of Article L. 431-1 of the Consumer Code and on the list of ADR entities established and published by the European Commission.
The complaints that are sent to the CSSF are handled by its legal department : “Legal Department Consumer Protection/Financial Crime” of the CSSF.
The out-of court resolution of disputes takes place on a voluntary basis and is free of charge.
The extrajudicial procedure of the CSSF aims at facilitating the resolution of complaints which are directed against professionals which are under the supervision of the CSSF.
The procedure is not a mediation procedure within the meaning of the Law of 24 February 2012 on mediation in civil and commercial matters, which has been introduced into the Nouveau Code de Procédure Civile.
Prerequisites (cumulative conditions) to file a complaint of out-of-court resolution
The opening of an out-of-court complaint resolution procedure with the CSSF is subject to the following cumulative conditions:
- the complaint must be aimed at a professional entity which is supervised by the CSSF (banks, professionals of the financial sector, investment firms, specialised professionals of the financial sector, support professionals of the financial sector, payment institutions, electronic money institutions etc.);
- the dispute must concern a financial product, a financial service or a statutory audit;
- the complaint must not concern the business policy of the professional;
- the complaint must have been first submitted in writing to the person responsible for the complaint handling at the level of the management of the professional aimed by the complainant (“manager responsible for complaint handling”);
- the complainant has not received a satisfactory answer nor an acknowledgement of receipt within one month as of the date the complaint was sent to the manager responsible for complaint handling;
- the complaint has not previously been or is not currently being examined by another ADR, an arbitrator, an arbitration tribunal or a court in Luxembourg or abroad;
- the complaint is not unreasonable, frivolous or vexatious;
- the complaint was filed with the CSSF within one year after the complainant has filed a complaint with the professional aimed at by the complaint;
- the complaint handling does not seriously impair the efficient functioning of the CSSF.
How to submit a complaint to the CSSF
The complaint can be filed either:
- by filling in the online complaint form where all relevant documents can be attached;
- or by sending the completed complaint form (PDF):
- either by mail (simple mailing, no registered letter required) to the following address:
Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier
Département Juridique CC
283, route d’Arlon
- or by fax using the following number: (+352) 26 25 1-2601;
- or by e-mail at the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
- either by mail (simple mailing, no registered letter required) to the following address:
The complaint shall be filed together with all relevant documents in English, French, German or Luxembourgish. The extrajudicial resolution procedure will, in principle, be conducted in one of the above-mentioned languages in which the complaint was filed with the CSSF.
The complaint shall be duly motivated and accompanied by the following documents:
- a detailed and chronological description of the facts of the complaint and of the steps already followed by the complainant;
- a copy of the complaint that was sent to the manager responsible for complaint handling;
- a copy of the answer that was given by the professional to the complaint that was sent to the manager responsible for complaint handling or the confirmation by the complainant that she/he did not receive an answer within one month after she/he sent her/his complaint to the manager responsible for complaint handling;
- a confirmation of the complainant that s/he has not referred the matter to a court, an arbitrator or an other out-of-court complaint resolution body in Luxembourg or abroad (see confirmations to be given in the complaint form);
- an agreement to the terms according to which the CSSF intervenes as ADR (see confirmations to be given in the complaint form);
- an express declaration granting the CSSF the right to transmit the complaint (including the attachments) as well as any future correspondence or information to the professional aimed at by the complaint (see confirmations to be given in the complaint form);
- in any case (should an other person act on behalf or not of the complainant), a copy of a valid ID document of the complainant (natural person) or, where the complainant is a legal person, a valid ID document of the natural person representing this legal person;
- a copy of the power of representation if the complainant is represented by a third party;
- in case the complainant is acting on behalf of a legal entity, an official document stating that the complainant is legally entitled to represent the company concerned (for example an extract of the trade and companies register) must be attached to the complaint.
Any document that is potentially useful for a proper understanding of the dispute with the professional will be attached to the complaint.
If the file is sent by post, original documents must be kept and only copies of the documents should be enclosed with the mail.
The procedure is free of charge.
Each party shall bear its own costs (e.g. lawyer fees).
Prior to filing an out-of-court complaint with the CSSF, the complainant must submit the complaint in writing to the manager responsible for complaint handling at the company aimed at by the complaint. If the complainant has not received a satisfactory answer nor an acknowledgement of receipt within one month as of the date when the complaint was sent to the manager responsible for complaint handling, the complainant may submit a complaint to the CSSF within one year after having filed the complaint with the manager responsible for complaint handling.
The parties have access to the procedure without having to be assisted by a lawyer or by a legal adviser.
The handling of complaints is in principle carried out in writing.
The complaint file is deemed to be complete when all relevant documents and information for the examination of the complaint have been received by the CSSF. When the complaint file is complete, the CSSF confirms to the complainant and to the professional in writing or by way of a durable medium that it has received the complete complaint file and the date of receipt of the complete complaint file.
In principle, the CSSF issues its reasoned conclusions within 90 days as of the date when the complaint has been considered complete. The CSSF can extend the initial deadline of 90 days in case of highly complex cases. The CSSF informs both parties of the extension of the initial deadline as soon as possible.
While analysing the complaint, the CSSF may request the professional and the complainant to provide it with additional information, documents or explanations, in any form whatsoever.
When the analysis of the complaint has been completed, the CSSF sends its decision to the parties stating the grounds on which it was taken.
The CSSF may conclude that the complaint is totally or partly justified in which case the CSSF will ask parties to contact each other to settle their dispute in view of the reasoned conclusion and to inform it of the follow-up.
The CSSF may also decide that the positions of the parties are irreconcilable or unverifiable in which case the CSSF will close the case without further ado.
The parties are informed that the conclusions reached by the CSSF:
- may be different from an order of a court based on legal provisions,
- are not binding on the parties and that they are free to accept to follow them.
In the conclusion letter, the parties’ attention is also drawn to the possibility to seek remedies through legal proceedings, in particular, if the parties fail to reach an agreement after the CSSF issued its reasoned conclusion.
Closing of the procedure
The out-of-court resolution of a dispute ends:
- by the decision of the CSSF being sent to the parties;
- by reaching an amicable settlement between the professional and the complainant in the course of the instruction of the complaint;
- in case of a written withdrawal of one of the parties, the withdrawal must be notified in writing to the other party and to the CSSF;
- where the right on which the complaint is based is time barred and where the professional aimed at by the complaint claims that the time period for exercising that right has expired;
- where the complaint has been submitted to a court, arbitrator or to an ADR in Luxembourg or abroad;
- where the complainant does not provide the additional documents, information, explanations or positions requested by the CSSF within the deadline set by the CSSF that cannot exceed three weeks.