With Resolution No. 19602 of 4 May 2016, CONSOB approved the introduction of the Arbitrator for Financial Disputes (ACF) and adopted the Regulation implementing Article 2, paragraphs 5-bis and 5-ter, of the legislative decree n. 179 of 8 October 2007.
This new system of out-of-court dispute resolution is characterized by the compulsory membership of intermediaries and the decision-making nature of the procedure. The objective is to provide an effective instrument for the direct protection of investors’ interests. Access to the Arbitrator is completely free of any fees to the investor and reduced deadlines for reaching a decision are provided (90 days from the time of completion of the file containing the appeal, the deductions and the documentation produced by the parties).
Conditions for access to the ACF are that the client-investor has previously submitted a complaint to the intermediary and that the arbitration procedure starts within the following twelve months.
The right to appeal to the ACF cannot be renounced by the investor and can be always exercised, even in the presence of dispute settlement clauses to other out-of-court resolution bodies contained in the contracts.
Disputes (up to a requested amount of € 500,000) that may be submitted to the Arbitrator relate to the violation of obligations of information, diligence, correctness and transparency that intermediaries must comply when dealing with investors and providing them with investment and funds management services.
The procedure allows both the investor and the intermediary to represent his/her own motives, thus ensuring the full disclosure between the parties. The process ends with a decision by the arbitrator. In particular, if the arbitrator fully or partially accepts the investor’s appeal, he will establish (at the expense of the intermediary) the obligation to compensate damages suffered or expenses incurred for the completion of the deeds considered necessary. The decision of the magistrate is not binding for the investor who can still resort to the judicial authority.
Address of the relative website https://www.acf.consob.it