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Banking Ombudsman: how do you use it?

Verified 16 February 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

If you have not been able to resolve a dispute with your bank by yourself, you can go to the bank mediator. The mediator seeks solutions to resolve this dispute within a short time. It must be fair, impartial and independent of the bank. The Ombudsman is free of charge.

You can contact your bank's mediator if you encounter difficulties with the services it provides to you (application of account agreements, for example).

Before you go to the mediator, you must try to resolve the dispute with your regular bank advisor. If this is not enough, you should contact your bank's customer service, preferably by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt. Contact information for customer service is available on your bank's website.

If you are not satisfied with the response or if there is no response within 2 months (15 days for a payment service dispute), you can refer the matter to the Ombudsman.

You must prove that you tried to resolve the dispute with your bank before going to the Ombudsman. Otherwise, your mediation request will not be processed.

You can enter the mediator online or by mail.

By mail

The mail should be sent to the mediator in charge of your bank at the address indicated on the site.

A letter template is available:

Referring to the Ombudsman

Find a Banking Ombudsman

The banking ombudsman is free of charge.

After you have contacted the mediator, you receive a notification the admissibility of your appeal.

The mediator must respond within 90 days of this notification.

In case of a very complex file, an additional time may be required. You are then informed by the mediator.

The mediator forwards a proposed solution that will allow you and your bank to resolve the dispute.

You or your bank are free to accept or not accept the proposed solution. This may be different from the decision that would be rendered by a judge.

Please note

the appeal to the mediator suspends the 2-year period during which you can bring the case before the court. The deadline shall resume from the moment the Ombudsman submits his proposal for a solution.

At any time, or if the solution proposed by the mediator does not suit you, you can take the matter to court.

The competent court is dependent on the sums involved in the dispute.

  • For litigation less than or equal to €10 000, it is the local court or the judicial court.
  • For litigation greater than €10 000, it's the court.
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