FINE - The Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau

The questions FINE examines

FINE is an alternative dispute resolution body that works in the same manner as courts of law. At request, it may issue solution recommendations of insurance, banking and securities disputes. In its examination of the case, FINE follows the general principles of fair trials and civil procedure. In dispute cases under the ADR Law, FINE complies with the obligations imposed on these issues.

FINE examines the disputes and issues recommendation solutions through its office (the Finnish Financial Ombudsman Bureau) and the Insurance, Banking and Securities Complaints Boards. The solutions issued by FINE for the disputes between the customer and the service provider are recommendations by nature.

The disputes that have an established solution practice and are legally unambiguous will be examined by the FINE Bureau. The Complaints Board focus on complicated disputes that are open to interpretations.

Insurance issues

FINE examines disputes related to the insurance relationship as well as to the interpretation and application of legislation and insurance terms and conditions. The recommendation for a solution can be requested by the policyholder, the insured, the injured party, the beneficiary or the insurance company in question.

FINE examines disputes regarding voluntary insurance policies. FINE does not examine disputes related to statutory insurance policies, such as the workers' compensation insurance or the patient insurance. The only partial exception to this rule is the motor liability insurance. The disputes on this insurance are only taken up by FINE if the Traffic Accident Board is not competent to examine the particular dispute related to the motor liability insurance.

FINE also examines insurance issues brought to it by companies and self-employed persons.

In insurance issues, the correct appeal procedure and deadlines are indicated in the instructions of appeal attached to the insurance company decision. The instructions for appeal may sometimes be found on the back of the decision page.

Banking

FINE issues solution recommendations to resolve disputes related to the banking relationship, brought to the Complaints Board by the customer or the bank in question.

FINE issues recommendations on how to solve complaints lodged by consumers, SMEs and other comparable customers.

Securities

FINE issues recommendations solutions to resolve disputes brought to the Complaints Board by non-professional investor-customers and service providers.

FINE will examine issues between the service provider and non-professional investor-customer, related to investment and mutual fund services as referred to in the Act on Investment Service Companies and Act on Common Funds. The recommendations focus on the application of the legislation, provisions by the authorities, good securities market practice and contractual terms as well as on the action of the service provider. The recommendations can also address the amount of the compensation.

The FINE Bureau as well as the Insurance, Banking and Securities Complaints Boards make independent decisions, fulfilling the criteria required of alternative dispute solution bodies concerning their neutrality, openness, reciprocity, efficiency, legality, freedom and representation.

For detailed information on the operation of the FINE Bureau and Complaints Boards, please click here for the FINE regulations.