Infotech

Towards a strengthening of the independence of banking mediators



Posted on Jul 1, 2021 at 6:11 PMUpdated on Jul 1, 2021, 6:34 PM

The subject is watched like fuel on the fire by the government. A few months ago, Bruno Le Maire asked the Consultative Committee of the Financial Sector (CCSF) for an “evaluation of banking and insurance mediation systems” given that “the procedure, as it is currently applied, raises difficulties which weigh on its effectiveness ”.

The Committee released its findings on Thursday. In his annual report, he affirms that it is necessary to strengthen the independence of mediators, especially in the banking sector, as bank customers are skeptical about the integrity of mediators who are appointed by the institutions themselves. . The body therefore wishes that “the mediator chosen by the establishment has not previously been an employee in the said establishment in the preceding years”, affirms a press release.

The members of the committee, which brings together financial establishments and consumer associations, have even agreed on a specific deadline: a mediator can only be appointed by an establishment after having ceased to work for him for two years. A deadline defended by the banks while consumer associations demanded a period of five years.

The committee also wishes to supervise the time limit for dialogue between a bank and its client during a dispute, in order to reduce the number of cases deemed inadmissible: in more than 50% of inadmissibility cases, individuals have submitted their case. too early.

In fact, for a request to be accepted by a mediator, the process of dialogue between the bank and its client must first have come to an end. But this deadline and its terms differ from one establishment to another. The members of the CCSF therefore agreed to set this deadline at two months maximum, taking as a starting point the first written complaint from a client.

No concentration of mediators

On the other hand, no consensus was found on an overhaul of the system for appointing bank mediators. At present, each establishment appoints its own mediator. But this situation causes a “crumbling” of banking mediation, estimates the body of control of the mediators, the CECMC.

This is in favor of a concentration of agents, that is to say the creation of a group of mediators sharing the files from the different establishments. She believes that this would improve “the quality of processing of cases, in particular by reducing the differences in processing”. This form of pooling exists, for example, in the insurance sector.

A conclusion shared by the UFC-Que Choisir, which goes so far as to denounce the lack of independence of bank mediators, in fact, paid and renewed by the banks for which they handle cases. The consumer association indicates that “no less than 84% of mediation requests are declared inadmissible, a much higher proportion than other types of mediation”.

Arguments swept away by the banks, who believe that “the work could not produce factual and tangible analyzes capable of demonstrating the expected added value” of the concentration of mediation in the sector, explains the French Banking Federation. In addition, the banks recall that “the remuneration of the mediator by the establishment allows this service free of charge” without compromising the independence of the mediator, his conclusions not being binding.

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