Swiss Banking Ombudsman: Change and uncertainty.

  • Fraud cases have once again increased sharply.
  • 1’921 closed cases in 2021, 10% less than in the previous year.
  • Marco Franchetti will leave the Swiss Banking Ombudsman Foundation at the end of 2022.

Zurich, 29 June 2022. — “Change and uncertainty” were the opening words of the Swiss Banking Ombudsman, Marco Franchetti, at his annual media conference. The instability of the financial markets, the strong growth of online transactions, the pandemic, the war on our doorstep, as well as the flood of easily accessible and sometimes biased information, all influences that do not make it easy for clients to orientate themselves.

“The fronts have hardened everywhere,” the Ombudsman also notes in his daily work. In such an environment, his task is more important than ever. He must maintain his serenity and keep his course. In the vast majority of cases, the clients represent the weaker party. They often lack resources and knowledge, which leads to a more fragile position vis-à-vis the financial businesses. “It is appropriate to restore the balance,” the Ombudsman underlined.

In 2021, the Ombudsman and his team dealt with a total of 1’921 cases. 1’172 were oral cases, 749 written cases. This corresponds to a decrease of about 10% compared to the previous year. The surprisingly fast recovery of the economic situation in 2021 and the fact that 2021 was therefore a positive year for the majority of investors probably contributed to this. However, the Ombudsman was again confronted with an increasing number of fraud cases. He therefore appeals again: ” Be careful and beware of fraudsters “. The most important cause of problems, however, was again a wide variety of settlement issues. In 2021, a total of 90% of the resolution proposals of the Banking Ombudsman were accepted by the financial businesses.

In 2021, a total of 441 new requests were received in the area of “Search for dormant assets or assets without contact”. The beneficiaries of 47 contactless client relationships were able to access values of 5.4 million Swiss francs and the contents of 6 safe deposit boxes.
The Swiss Banking Ombudsman, Marco Franchetti, pointed out that this was his last media conference. He will hand over his office at the end of the year after 10 years of service. “The Foundation Board must be congratulated for having found an extremely competent successor in Andreas Barfuss to take over the function of the Swiss Banking Ombudsman.”

Franchetti took the opportunity to thank all those, his team and external partners, who have accompanied him in his great human adventure as Ombudsman. Finally, he thanked the media representatives and highlighted their importance in disseminating and commenting on information that is often crucial for clients.

Press release
Annual Report 2021 (in German)
Annual Report 2021 (in French)
2021 in Brief
Pictures Marco Franchetti