Bank customers have the right to complain by means of a complaint, whenever the institution is deemed to have acted inappropriately, either when dealing or during the life of a contract, or when selling any banking service.
The right to complain may be exercised by any individual or company who is a customer of a credit institution or financial company included in the list of institutions registered with Banco de Portugal.
The reason for the complaint must be related to the activities of credit institutions or financial companies.
The complaint may be submitted either by filling in a page(s) in the Complaints Book, that all credit institution and financial companies must give to their customers when requested, or directly to Banco de Portugal.
Banco de Portugal publishes an annual report covering not only the complaints received directly from bank customers but also those that are forwarded to it by the institutions, within the scope of the Complaints Book. The report identifies the main subjects of complaint as well as the complaints status, as far as their treatment is concerned.
When the bank customer wishes to make a complaint regarding investment funds or securities, he/she should contact the Comissão do Mercado de Valores Mobiliários (Portuguese acronym: CMVM) (Securities Market Commission); in the case of insurance and pension funds, he/she should contact the Instituto de Seguros de Portugal (Portuguese acronym: ISP) (Portuguese Insurance Institute). However, according to the law, all complaints entered in the Complaints Books are forwarded to Banco de Portugal, which in turn forwards them to the CMVM or the ISP.
If the bank customer wishes to complain about building constraints or any other aspects related to the Decree-Law No 163/2006 of 8 August, he/she shall submit its complaint directly to the respective City Council.
The bank customer should also take into account that Banco de Portugal will analyse the complaint within the scope of its legal responsibilities. Any matters related to less friendly assistance fall under social conduct principles, and, due to their nature, do not fall within the scope of action of Banco de Portugal.
Intervention by Banco de Portugal does not cover the resolution of strictly contractual issues between credit institutions and their customers. The resolution of such litigations, whenever no agreement is reached, requires the intervention of judicial or arbitral powers.