Ombud services are already known from banking and insurance law. Art. 74 ff. FIDLEG provide for a mediation procedure with an ombudsman in order to settle legal disputes between customers and financial service providers.

Yes, the FIDLEG strengthens the institution of the ombudsman by obliging all financial service providers to join an ombudsman’s office and requiring official recognition of the ombudsman’s office by the Federal Department of Finance (FDF).

Financial service providers must join an ombudsman within six months of the FIDLEG coming into force, i.e. probably by 30 June 2020.

If the prerequisites are fulfilled, both the client and the financial service provider can initiate a procedure with the ombudsman. The procedure at the ombudsman’s office takes place in camera and is confidential. The procedure should be inexpensive or free of charge and run quickly, fairly and unbureaucratically. The ombudsman service should only collect cost-covering contributions from financial service providers.

In principle, there is no obligation to conduct proceedings before the ombudsman. Pursuant to Art. 78 para. 1 FIDLEG, however, the financial service provider is obliged to participate in the procedure if the customer has submitted a request for mediation to the ombudsman.

Yes, foreign financial service providers who provide cross-border services for Swiss clients in Switzerland must also join an ombudsman.

Yes, an ombudsman is obliged to accept a financial service provider if its connection requirements are met (Art. 81 FIDLEG).