Settle a dispute with a financial service provider
You can apply to us regarding the settling of a dispute if:
- you are a natural person using a certain financial service to meet personal, family or household needs;
- you believe that a financial market participant has violated your, as a financial service user’s, rights or legal interests arising from contracts or related relations;
- after learning about a potential violation of your rights or legitimate interest, you submitted a complaint to the financial market participant, indicating the circumstances of the dispute and your claim, however, a peaceful settlement was not reached.
As of 2 January 2012, the Bank of Lithuania deals with disputes between consumers and financial market participants out of court. We deal with disputes between consumers and insurance, financial service, additional investment service providers and/or disputes of mutual lending platform operators, arising from the provision of financial, additional investment services and/or the activities carried out by the mutual lending platform operator, as well as from the contract on insurance services or related to it, where that contract is subject to Republic of Lithuania law.
The Bank of Lithuania also deals with disputes between consumers – collective investment undertakings, pension fund participants – and managers of these undertakings or funds, arising from the relationship of participation in a respective undertaking or fund, as well as disputes between investors and issuers engaged in the original issuance of securities, arising from the securities distribution relationship.
What should you do (step by step) if you want to settle a dispute with a financial service provider?
Prior to applying to the Bank of Lithuania regarding the settlement of a dispute, you should apply to the financial service provider in writing, specifying the circumstances of the dispute and your claim. You should apply to the financial service provider no later than within three months of learning about a violation of your rights.
It should be noted that submitting a consumer‘s complaint with a specific claim to the financial market participant is a very important step, as a substantial number of disputes are settled peacefully without applying to the Bank of Lithuania for consumer dispute settlement.
Upon receipt of your application, the financial service provider must reply to you within 15 working days.
If the reply from the financial service provider does not satisfy you or you do not receive any reply within 15 working days, you have the right to apply to the Bank of Lithuania within one year. If you miss this time-frame, you can no longer apply regarding the dispute.
Important: You have the right to apply to the Bank of Lithuania or directly to court. The court judgement is binding, while the decision of the Bank of Lithuania is recommendatory in nature, non-binding to both the consumer and the financial market participant, and cannot be appealed. The Bank of Lithuania deals with disputes free of charge.
Decisions regarding the subject matter of a dispute are public and published on the Bank of Lithuania website (in Lithuanian), without prejudice to the requirements for the security of personal data, state, office, commercial, bank, professional and other secrets protected by laws, as well as the consumer’s right to privacy.
Upon receipt of your application, we evaluate within five business days whether the dispute should be investigated by the Bank of Lithuania, and, after the evaluation, inform you thereof within three business days.
The Bank of Lithuania does not investigate disputes, where:
- the dispute did not arise over a financial service;
- the Bank of Lithuania is not authorised to take a decision regarding the claim specified by the dispute participant applying;
- a dispute between the same parties, on the same subject matter and on the same basis is already being investigated (settled and with a final and binding decision) by the Bank of Lithuania, the court, the court of arbitration or another subject of out-of-court consumer disputes;
- the parties to the dispute have agreed on re-addressing the settlement of the dispute to another entity for settling consumer disputes out of court after the dispute arose;
- an application is made on behalf of the consumer by a person without due authorisation;
- the consumer applies to the Bank of Lithuania after expiry of the one-year term from the application to the financial market participant or did not apply to the financial market participant before;
- the consumer’s application does not meet the requirements for the content and form of consumer application and the deficiencies are not eliminated within the term set by the Bank of Lithuania;
- the dispute amount is less than EUR 10, except in cases when the dispute is relevant in the formulation of new consumer rights protection practices or there are other relevant circumstances.
After considering information provided, the Bank of Lithuania, within 90 days, takes one of the following decisions, recommendatory in nature:
- to satisfy your claim;
- to satisfy your claim in part;
- to reject your claim.
In complicated cases, the term for settlement can be extended for another 30 days.
Average duration of out-of-court consumer disputes at the Bank of Lithuania – 63 days.
Important: You have the right to withdraw and terminate the procedure for the settlement of a consumer dispute out of court at any time before a decision regarding the subject matter of the dispute is taken.
Nevertheless, even when the Bank of Lithuania has taken a decision, the parties to a dispute (you and a financial service provider) retain the right to apply to court.
The Bank of Lithuania, in taking a decision regarding the subject matter of a dispute, at the consumer’s request, decides on the expenses incurred by the consumer in relation to the procedure of settling consumer disputes out of court (including indispensable expert examination or other expenses of investigation, lawyer or assistant lawyer and translation services), remuneration.
Who takes a decision regarding the outcome of a dispute?
The Board of the Bank of Lithuania has assigned settling of disputes between consumers and financial market participants and taking decisions regarding them to the Legal and Licensing Department of the Financial Market Supervision Service. Decisions regarding the subject matter of a consumer dispute are taken by Arūnas Raišutis, Director of the Legal and Licensing Department.
How can I apply to the Bank of Lithuania?
Applications can be submitted in three ways:
- Via the electronic dispute settlement facility E-Government Gateway
- By completing a Consumer Application Form (43 KB download icon) and sending it to the Financial Market Supervision Service of the Bank of Lithuania, Žalgirio g. 90, LT-09303, Vilnius, email: [email protected]
- By filing out a free-form application and sending it to the Financial Market Supervision Service, Žalgirio g. 90, LT-09303, Vilnius, email: [email protected]
Whatever the way you choose to submit your application, it and its annexes must be either in the official language of the country, i.e. Lithuanian, or English language. However, it is important to note that the dispute settlement process will be conducted in the official language of the country, i.e. Lithuanian.
When submitting an application, the following must be indicated:
- your name and surname, address. If you are represented by someone – the name and surname, address of your representative;
- title of the financial service provider you are disputing with;
- information on the financial service contract your and the financial service provider’s dispute is related to
- copies of your application to the financial service provider and annexes thereto, copies of the reply from the financial service provider and annexes thereof (if submitted), and a copy of the agreement with the financial service provider;
- specific claim, e.g.
- I hereby request _____________ to pay _____________
- I hereby request _____________ to accept _____________
- explanation of the grounds for your claim;
- list of the attached documents;
The application should be signed by you or your representative.
Disputes between consumers and financial market participants at the Bank of Lithuania are handled following:
- Republic of Lithuania Law on the Bank of Lithuania
- Republic of Lithuania Law on Consumer Protection
- Rules of the Procedure of Out of Court Settlement in the Bank of Lithuania of Disputes between Consumers and Financial Market Participants (99.5 KB download icon), approved by Resolution No 03-11 of the Board of the Bank of Lithuania of 28 January 2016 on the amendment of the approval of the description of procedure for settling disputes between consumers and financial market participants