How does BaFin help consumers?

BaFin is responsible for the protection of consumers as a whole in the field of financial services. In the interest of all consumers, BaFin, for example, supervises the various financial institutions, ensuring their stability and the integrity of the financial system as a whole. BaFin pursues irregularities in the supervised companies and offers a whole range of tips and tools for consumers.

BaFin protects consumers as a whole

Collective consumer protection is one of BaFin's core tasks. As an integrated financial supervisor, BaFin acts in the public interest by monitoring:

  • credit and financial services institutions,
  • insurance undertakings,
  • pension funds,
  • payment institutions,
  • German management companies (Kapitalverwaltungsgesellschaften),
  • securities trading and
  • deposit-guarantee schemes.

Collective and individual consumer protection

BaFin fulfils these tasks in the public interest and in accordance with its statutory mandate: it protects consumers as a whole (collective consumer protection) and therefore does not represent individual customers of financial services providers. The protection of the interests of individual consumers lies within the remit of ombudsman services, dispute resolution entities and consumer organisations. If they are unable to solve a consumer organisations.onflict in individual cases, it can only be settled in court.

BaFin resolves serious irregularities in the interest of all consumers

BaFin ensures the stability of the institutions and undertakings it supervises in order to protect the integrity of the financial system. This includes pursuing irregularities at the supervised entities which may have consequences for all customers. Mainly this involves cases in which an institution or undertaking has contravened legal provisions protecting consumers. The contravention has to be serious enough to go beyond the individual case, so that it is necessary to solve the underlying problem in a general manner in the public interest.

How BaFin can provide further assistance

BaFin offers various means of assistance to consumers. For example, you can file a complaint with BaFin. You can also call BaFin's consumer helpline. The helpline staff will answer your questions or explain the measures available to you if you want to settle a conflict out of court with, for example, a bank or an insurance undertaking.

updated on: 10.03.2016

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