Europe get complaints network for financial services

Pan-European complaints network aimed at improving consumer confidence launched by Commission

The Commission just launched FIN-NET, an out-of-court complaints network for both on- and off-line financial services. Its aim is to boost consumer confidence in the Internal Market by providing fast and efficient dispute resolution and avoiding, where possible, lengthy and expensive legal action.

FIN-NET gives consumers access to out-of-court redress, even if suppliers and consumers are from different countries. It does this by bringing together national EU redress schemes on the basis of a voluntary Memorandum of Understanding. This enables them to deal with cross-border complaints as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Internal Market Commissioner Bolkestein said: "Markets thrive on confidence. Retail consumers want reassurance that cross-border shopping will be problem free." It is believed that the lack of such a Europe-wide redress scheme has been stifling the development and growth of electronic commerce in Europe and cross-border services. Consequently, Member States have demanded that the Commission ensure that that trading and co-operation is made as easy cross-border as it is within national borders.

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