Legal purpose of Financial Ombudsmen in Europe!
According to Directive 2013/11/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 on Alternative Dispute Resolution for consumer disputes and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 and Directive 2009/22/EC Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) like the Danish Financial Complaint Board are supposed to offer a simple, fast and low-cost out-of-court solution to disputes between consumers and traders.
The Directive 2013/11/EU outlines the importance of the high quality of these alternative dispute resolutions for consumer disputes, as these organizations are supposed to be an essential prerequisite for a high level of consumer protection in Europe.
So Alternative Dispute Resolution organizations like the Danish Financial Complaint Board are legally requested to ensure access to simple, efficient, fast, and low-cost ways of resolving domestic and cross-border disputes that arise from sales or service contracts should benefit consumers and boost their confidence in the market. That access should apply to online and offline transactions and is particularly important when consumers shop across borders and are critical in establishing consumer trust in a functioning internal market.
We and a lot of distressed European consumers who lost their money via transfers to Kobenhavn Andelskasse had to learn recently that the Danish Financial Complaint Board evidently is not aware about its duties and its purpose.
Kobenhavn Andelskasse a Danish money laundering hub
EFRI represents 77 victims who have deposited their life savings via Kobenhavn Andelskasse. The total loss of these victims amounts to EUR 3,567,183,58 and GBP 1,484,500, -.
For details on how Kobenhavn Andelskasse – a small Danish cooperative – got hijacked by scammers, pls read the history here.
After a disastrous audit report issued by the Danish Financial Supervisory Authority (DSAF) on 6th September 2018, Finansiel Stability took over ownership of the company, and DFSA filed money laundering charges against Kobenhavns Andelskasse.
No support from the Finansiel Stability and the DSFA
Our organization addressed Finansiel Stability and the DSFA several times and asked for recourse for the victims. We also asked them for a payout of the frozen amounts, as we learned from German criminal files that money mules with bank accounts with Postbank (there were a lot of them compared here) transferred money to Kobenhavn Andelskasse through the end of September 2012 – although Kobenhavn Andelskasse was owned by then already by Finansiel Stability. Finansiel Stability decided against any refunds.
Until today, Financial Stability rejected all claims from victims against Kobenhavn Andelskasse – they even kept the frozen amounts. They told us to go to court.
For more details regarding our requests to the Danish authorities to act, pls read this article: Spotlight on the Danish authorities.
A simple, fast, and low-cost out-of-court solution looks different!
Finally after having received a final rejection letter from Finansiel Stability, we sent a complaint letter to the Danish Financial Complaint Board on September 9, 2021.
We enclosed the audit report of the DFSA issued as of September 6th, 2018 (provided to us by a whistleblower) and requested their assistance in resolving your cases with Kobenhavn Andelskasse. We were instructed to register every single victim with the Danish Financial Complaint Board, and a payment of 200 DKK had to be made to the Danish authority by each victim.
During the next 15 months, we exchanged letters with the Finansiel Stability. For more info, please refer here.
There was no involvement of the Danish Financial Ombudsman at all.
On March 30th, 2023, after 17 months – did we receive a long Danish letter and a short English version telling us – without any more explanations – that the Danish Financial Ombudsman would not make any decision in this case. They would reimburse the 200 DKK for each victim, but only if the victim provided an adequate IBAN and BIC.
The decision was made by Vibeke Rønne (Nordea), Inge Kramer (Danske Bank A/S), Mette Lindekvist Højsgaard (Jyske Bank), Tina Thygesen, and Jørn Ravn.
We described the case in detail from the beginning, kept our story the same, and raised no new claims.
So it took them 17 months to decide that they were not in charge and to send the victims of Kobenhavn Andelskasse finally to court.
We propose to dissolve the Danish Financial Complaint Board straight away. Poor performance is a nice word for what this organization did to further destroy confidence in consumer protection in Europe.