Advice on submitting a complaint to the Banco de España
See a charge you don’t recognise on your bank statement? Or an unauthorised bill that’s been paid? Having difficulties moving your account to another bank? What to do about it? The first step is to try and settle the issue with your bank or agent. But if that doesn’t work, the next step is to file a complaint.
Keep calm and use your head. You need to make the best use of your time and efforts to file your complaint correctly and thus have the best chance of having your rights recognised. Here we help you to do this, via the following pointers:
- Follow the right logical order: first you need to file a complaint with your bank. Check here to see who you need to contact and the relevant time limits. Only if you do not agree with the response, or you obtain no response, should you address your complaint to the Banco de España. Remember the Banco de España will not be able to process your request unless you have previously filed a complaint with your bank.
- Make sure you’re knocking on the right door:
- If you believe your contract is unfair or you wish to claim damages, you need to go to court.
- If your problem relates to an insurance policy or investment product, or your personal data protection, you need to contact the Directorate General of Insurance, the National Securities Market Commission or the Data Protection Agency, respectively.
- Information is power: document your complaint. Compile or unload from your online banking site all the relevant documentation (bank statements, contracts, etc.). Also, explain the facts as clearly as possible, indicating, for example, the specific points in dispute.
- Don’t wait! You should submit your complaint as soon as possible: we are powerless if it is more than a year since you filed the complaint with your bank, or if it is more than six years since the problem occurred.
Only when you have followed all these steps should you file your complaint here. Naturally you will have doubts: What can I expect from all this? Is it worth it? Well, take a look and judge for yourself:
- Most importantly, once you have submitted and documented your complaint, you will have a report with the Banco de España’s decision on the question posed (provided it falls within its competence). In 2020, almost seven out of ten decisions were favourable to the complainant.
- In 2019, the average amount paid out was €455.29 for each complaint that reached the end of the process and was settled with a report being issued or the bank accepting liability. An overall total of €2,568,292.
- Your complaint, together with many others, helps improve the financial system in two ways. First, financial institutions are made aware of their errors and, therefore, are able to correct their conduct. Second, the Banco de España obtains valuable information in its supervisory capacity, enabling it to issue recommendations or requirements to banks, and even to instigate penalty procedures in the event of a widespread problem.
Lastly, if these figures do not convince you, click here to see everything that a complaint can do for you.