20 million returned to savers – Corriere.it
In 2022, the number of appeals filed has decreased to the Banking and Financial Arbitrator, the independent body supported by the Bank of Italy that allows out-of-court settlement of disputes between customers and banks or other financial intermediaries. According to the annual report presented yesterday, the number of complaints fell by 31% last year to just over 15,400 cases. As for compensation, the Abf paid customers almost 20 million euros, of which over 17 million were reimbursed directly by the intermediaries. Over 9 million were returned to customers who were victims of fraudulent use of payment instruments.
According to Bank of Italy deputy general manager Paolo Angelini, the decline is due to fewer litigations, a phenomenon that should be viewed positively. The number of complaints related to payment services and instruments has increased. while disputes over wage-secured loans and postal savings bonds declined. According to the report, in 2022 the outcome of the appeals was in most cases clearly in favor of the customers. In 34% of the cases, the arbitrator fully or partially agreed with the clients, and in 18% of the cases, the dispute was resolved following an agreement between the parties.
The scourge of phishing
Disputes relating to payment services and instruments as a whole were the most frequently filed with the ABF, with over 6,300 appeals, although their absolute value fell by 11 percent. With a share of around 23 percent, disputes over wage-secured loans continued to be the main object of complaints received, although the dispute has more than halved compared to the previous year; Disputes about postal savings certificates also fell significantly (-36 percent compared to 2021). These trends reflect the dynamics of complaints filed by consumers, while the frequency of complaints filed by non-consumers remained at 5 percent, according to the report. In 2022, the arbitrator received 4,809 complaints regarding fraudulent use of payment services and tools, 13% fewer than in 2021. 42% of the fraud cases reported in 2022 concerned phishing, spoofing, smishing and vishing cases. Fraudsters also use combined digital communication channels to persuade the victim to hand over account access data and disposition data; Of these, around 70% of the complaints concerned debit and credit cards. Among the remaining categories, the main reasons for appeal, in order of relevance, were fraud related to online payments (17%) and ATM transactions (15%).
In the first months of 2023 there were complaints about requests for renegotiation of variable rate mortgages in connection with the increase in interest rates, as well as the report of the Abf, the Banking and Finance Arbitrator, about the complaints from customers of banks and financial companies pointed out . The issue of the difficulty of paying mortgage installments due to the impact of the increase in interest rates – stresses Antonella Magliocco, Head of Customer Protection Service at the Bank of Italy – which often affects young people – has been opened in a dialogue with consumer associations to clarify lines of joint action.
Response times (relatively) fast
Shorter times for appeals to the Bank and Finance Arbitration Court. In 2022, minus the bans, they dropped to 120 days, well below the 180 days required by law. As can be seen from the annual report, the duration including bans was 140 days.