Law 44/2002, of 22 November, on Measures to Reform the Financial System, in force according to reform of September 29, 2013, in order to defend clients of financial services, establishes, for this purpose, the obligation for management companies, credit institutions, insurance companies and investment services firms, to hear and resolve complaints and claims that their clients might submit, related to their interests and rights legally recognized, being obliged to have for this purpose a Department or Service of Customer Support.
In order to obtain authorization and inscription in the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), the Law on the Promotion of Business Funding establishes, in its Title V, Chapter II, article 57, relative to the Request of authorization and inscription, a description of the procedures and means for the filing of complaints and claims on the part of customers, and the procedures to resolve them.
The Order ECO/734/2004, of March 11, on Departments and Services of Customer Support and Customer Ombudsman of financial institutions, that further develops Chapter V of Law 44/2002, of November 22, on Measures to Reform the Financial System, sets the obligation for every entity or group to approve a Regulation for the Defence of the Customer, that should regulate the activity of the Department or Service of Customer Support, and, where applicable, of the Customer Ombudsman, as well as the relations between them.
Therefore, this Regulation for Customer Defence is set to regulate Customer Support Service, in the spirit of improving customer relations with Lignum Capital S.L., trying to preserve their trust and provide them a suitable level of protection, which can resolve the complaints and claims in the most satisfactory manner, and always according to law.
Present Regulation aims to regulate the activity, internal procedure norms and operation of Customer Support Service at Lignum Capital S.L., as well as the course of action for handling and resolving complaints and claims submitted by customers relative to theirs interests and legally recognized rights.
Unless otherwise explicitly indicated, or where from its context another interpretation turns out to be clear, the following terms shall have in this Regulation the meaning set forth below:
Customers:Physical or legal persons, Spanish or foreign, who meet the condition of users of the financial services provided by Lignum Capital S.L.
Complaints: Shall be regarded as complaints those concerning delays, inattention, or any other kind of deficiency that is observed in the operation of the financial services.
Claims: Shall be regarded as claims those that reveal specific facts relative to actions or omissions that involve the breach of contracts, of the rules of transparency and protection of the clientele, or of good practices and financial deportment, and implying for the claimant a detriment to his interests and rights, with the aim of obtaining a restitution.
The Board of Directors of Lignum Capital S.L. shall take whatever measures are called for to ensure a wide spreading of the provisions of this Regulation among its various departments, services and branches. Furthermore, the Regulation will be published in the offices which are open to public and on the website, for its best diffusion between clients and public generally.
It pertains to the Board of Directors of Lignum Capital S.L. the approval of the Regulation for the Customer Defence, as well as any modification thereof.
The present Regulation and any modification thereof shall surrender to verification by the Bank of Spain.
Customer Support Service is an internal organ of Lignum Capital S.L., to which corresponds the addressing and resolution of the complaints and claims submitted, either directly or through representation, by natural or legal persons, Spanish or foreign, who fulfil the condition of users of the services provided by Lignum Capital S.L., provided the said complaints and claims concern their legally recognized interests and rights, whether deriving from the contracts, from the regulations on transparency and protection of the clientele, or from good practices and financial deportment, most particularly the principle of equity.
Likewise, it is up to the Customer Support Service to submit to appropriate addresses recommendations or suggestions on all those aspects that, in its opinion, entail a strengthening of the good relations and mutual trust that must exist between Lignum Capital S.L. and its customers.
The Holder of the Customer Support Service must be a person of commercial and professional honourableness, and with the knowledge and expertise appropriate to exercise those functions. It concurs commercial and professional honourableness in those who have been keeping a personal history of respect to the mercantile laws or others that regulate economic activity and business life, as well as good commercial and financial practices.
Moreover, they are assumed to have adequate knowledge and experience those who have played roles related to the entity's own financial activity
The appointment of Holder of the Customer Support Service behoves to the Board of Directors of Lignum Capital S.L.
The designation of the Holder of the Customer Support Service shall be communicated to the National Securities Market Commission.
They will not be able to play the position of Holder of the Customer Support Service, neither to provide services in said area, those who have been, in Spain or abroad, declared in bankruptcy or creditors' contest without having been rehabilitated; have a criminal record for crimes of falsehood, against the Treasury, punishable insolvency, infidelity in the custody of documents, violation of secrets, money laundering, embezzlement of public funds, discovery and revelation of secrets or against the property; or which are disqualified or suspended, criminally or administratively, to exercise public, administrative or entities management positions.
Nor can they play the position of Holder of the Customer Support Service, nor provide services in said area, persons who have under their responsibility operational or commercial functions of the entity.
Members of the Customer Support Service with a personal interest in some complaint or claim, will make the said circumstance immediately known to the Holder of the Customer Support Service, and shall refrain from engaging in the handling and resolution of the complaint or claim.
In those complaints or claims where it is the Holder of the Customer Support Service who has a personal interest that results, or is likely to result, in a conflict of interest, he shall refrain from participating in the handling and resolution of the complaint or claim, its instruction and resolution corresponding to the person occupying the position of greatest relevance in the Service below him.
For this purpose, it will be deemed to exist a personal interest when the claim or complaint in question affects him straight, or to his relatives up to the second degree of consanguinity or affinity, or to others with whom he holds or has held a special bond of friendship or affection.
Also, it will be deemed that a personal interest exists when he has been providing professional services in the Department or branch affected by the complaint or claim at the time in which it took place or deployed its effects.
The Holder of the Customer Support Service will hold the post for a period of five years, which may be renewed for successive periods of the same duration.
The Holder of the Customer Support Service shall cease in office for any of the following causes:
Expiry of the term for which he was appointed, unless his re-election is agreed.
Death, or supervened incapability.
Discontinuation of his employment relation.
Incurring some of the cases referred to in article 8 of this Regulation.
By resolution of the Board of Directors, motivated by objective and serious enough causes.
Customer Support Service performs its functions autonomously from remaining services of the organization, whether commercial or operational, from which it is separate, in order to ensure it takes decisions in an independent manner, as well as to avoid conflicts of interest in the performance of its functions.
Customer Support Service will have to be provided with human, material, technical and organizational means suitable for the fulfillment of its functions. Particularly, its staff will have to know and properly apply the norms relative to transparency and protection of the clients of financial services.
Customer Support Service will handle and resolve any complaint or claim presented by its customers, within the scope of provisions in article 5 of present Regulation.
At all events, the following kind of complaints or claims shall be understood as excluded:
Those related to labour relations of Lignum Capital S.L. vs its employees.
Those referring to matters that are discretionary power of Lignum Capital S.L., such as the acceptance or not of projects, contracts or services, as well as its pacts, conditions and timetable for the rendering of services, if they conform to law and good practices, unless the complaint or claim is formulated because of negligence or procrastination in decision making.
Those related to issues that are pending, or which have been resolved in court or arbitration, or subjected to a public organ, in accordance with the provisions of article 19. b) of present Regulation.
Those meant to prevent the exercise of any right of our organization vs the customer, provided there is evidence of his obvious intention.
Those which are not within the scope of action set out in Article 5
Those formulated by clients or users of the services, once a period of two years is over from the date on which the customer became aware of the causative facts for the complaint or claim.
The submission of complaints and claims, and their handling by the Customer Support Service, will be free of charge, and on no account can a payment be demanded from the customer under this concept.
Lignum Capital S.L. will adopt appropriate measures to ensure the best performance of the functions of the Customer Support Service, and that the procedures laid down for the transmission of the information needed by the Service fulfil the principles of promptness, safety, efficiency and coordination.
Customers will have at their disposal, on the website of Lignum Capital S.L. or at its offices, the following information:
The existence of the Customer Support Service, with indication of its postal and electronic addresses.
The obligation to attend and resolve complaints and claims filed by customers, within a term of two months from the time of their filing in any of the instances referred to in article 18 of this Regulation.
The existence of the corresponding claims service on the part of the supervisory authorities, specifying their postal and email addresses, and the need to exhaust the Customer Support Service route prior to being able to formulate to them the complaints and claims.
Present Regulation for the Defence of the Customer.
References to the regulations on transparency and protection of the client of financial services.
The term for the presentation of complaints and claims before the Customer Support Service shall be two years from the date on which the customer became aware of the causative facts for the complaint or claim.
The submission of complaints and claims may be done, personally or through a duly accredited representation, in written form with handwritten signature, or by computer, electronic or telematic means, provided they allow the reading, printing and storage of documents, and include the corresponding electronic signature adjusted to the requirements laid down by law.
The proceeding starts by the presentation of a document that will contain:
The identification of the person concerned and, where appropriate, of his duly accredited representative:
Name and surnames or, when applicable, business name.
National Identity Card if a natural person, or public registry data if a legal entity.
Reason for the complaint or claim, with clear specification of the matters on which a pronouncement is requested.
The office, department or service where the events at issue, in the complaint or claim, have taken place.
The statement on the part of the claimant of having no knowledge that the subject covered by the complaint or claim is being pursued through an administrative, arbitral or judicial proceeding.
The place and date of filing the complaint or claim.
Signature of the person concerned or, where applicable, of his representative.
The claimant will have to contribute, along with the previous document, documentary evidences in his possession on which his complaint or claim is grounded.
Complaints and claims may be filed with the Customer Support Service, in our offices, during opening hours, as well as through the e-mail address set up to such an end.
Once the complaint or claim is being received, and when it has not been resolved on behalf of the client by the office or service themselves where the facts at issue thereof have taken place, it will be sent as soon as possible to the Customer Support Service, that will proceed to the opening of a file, which will be given the sequential number that corresponds.
In any case, the Customer Service will acknowledge receipt in writing, and will record the date of submission for the purposes of computing the term of its resolution, which will start counting from the time of filing the complaint or claim in any of the instances referred to in article 18 of this Regulation.
If the identity of the claimant were not sufficiently accredited, or if the facts subject to complaint or claim could not be clearly determined, the person concerned will be requested to complete, within ten calendar days, the information or documentation submitted, with a warning that if this is not done the complaint or claim shall be archived without further action. The archiving of the complaint or claim will not prevent from raising it again at a later moment, if the circumstances that prevented the processing of the initially filed one disappear. In that case, a new file would be opened.
The time taken by the claimant to attend the request referred to by the above paragraph will not be included in the computation of the two months term laid down in article 22.
Admission of complaints and claims can only be refused in the following cases:
When information essential for the procedure is omitted in an irremediable manner, including cases where the reason for the complaint or claim is not specified.
When trying to process as a complaint or claim, resources or actions whose knowledge thereof competes the administrative, arbitral or judicial organs, or the same is pending resolution or litigation, or the issue has already been resolved in those instances.
When the facts, reasons and petition that materialize the issues subject to the complaint or claim do not refer to specific operations, or do not conform to the requirements set out in article 5 of present Regulation.
When there are formulated complaints or claims which reiterate previously resolved ones, presented by the same client in relation to the same facts.
When the term for the presentation of complaints and claims, as laid down by article 17 of present Regulation, is over.
When the complaint or claim is deemed not admissible for processing, by any of the above reasons, it will be communicated to the applicant by reasoned decision, giving him a term of ten calendar days to bring forward his allegations. When the person concerned has responded and the causes of inadmissibility are upheld, the final decision taken shall be communicated to him.
Once the claim's dossier is opened, the Customer Support Service will ask the employee or partner involved to present as soon as possible a report justifying his performance.
If, in view of the complaint or claim, the entity concerned rectifies the situation in accordance with the claimant and to his satisfaction, or surrenders to its pretensions, it will have to communicate it to the Customer Support Service and, where applicable, justify it with proper documentation. In such cases, the complaint or claim shall be archived without further ado.
The interested parties shall be able to withdraw their complaints and claims at any moment. The withdrawal will result in the immediate termination of the proceeding as far as concerns the relation with the interested party.
The record must be completed no later than two months, from the date on which the complaint or claim was filed in any of the instances referred to in article 18 of this Regulation.
The decision will always be motivated and contain clear conclusions on the request raised by every complaint or claim, based on contractual clauses, on the standards of transparency and protection of the clientele that apply, as well as on good financial practices and customs.
In the event that the decision differs from criteria expressed in similar previous records, the reasons which justify it will have to be provided.
The decision shall be notified to the interested parties within ten calendar days from its date, in writing or by computer, electronic or telematic means, provided they allow the reading, printing and storage of documents, and that they include an electronic signature tailored to the requirements set forth legally, as expressly designated by the claimant and, in the absence of such an indication, via the same medium through which the complaint or claim was submitted.
The decisions that finish the processing of complaints and claims will expressly mention the faculty that assists the claimant to, in case of disagreement with the result of the pronouncement, resort to the Service of Claims of the incumbent supervisory authority.
If after the term of two months, from the moment of filing the complaint or claim in any of the instances referred to in article 18 of present Regulation, taking also into account the days that might apply according with the provisions of this Regulation, the interested party has not received the resolution to his complaint or claim, he shall be able to appeal directly to the Service of Claims of the incumbent supervisory authority.
The filing of a claim implies the tacit acceptance of present Regulation.
The Holder of the Customer Support Service will attend the requests formulated by the service of claims of the National Securities Market Commission.
The first quarter of each year, a report of activities for the preceding financial year will be presented to the Boards of Directors of Lignum Capital S.L., with at least the following content:
Statistical summary of the complaints and claims attended, with information on their numbers, admission procedure, causes of non-admission, issues raised and amounts involved.
Summary of decisions taken, with an indication of the favourable or unfavourable outcome for the claimant.
General criteria on which the decisions were based.
Recommendations or suggestions arising from his experience, in order to better achieve the aims targeted by his performance.
It will also be prepared a summary of said report, in order to incorporate it to the annual memory.