File a complaint against companies in the financial services sector Unfortunately this specification of service has not yet been completely translated.

Do you believe that a company has violated the German Investment Code? Then you can lodge a complaint with the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin). You can use the general complaints procedure for this purpose.

The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) is responsible for protecting all consumers in the financial services sector. You can only lodge complaints with BaFin about a possible maladministration in a company in the financial services sector that is under its supervision. BaFin cannot refund money that you have lost through securities transactions, for example.
It also has no influence on legal or contractual deadlines, such as payment, reporting or limitation periods, if you file a complaint. In order to avoid any disadvantages for you, it is imperative that you independently ensure that such deadlines are met, irrespective of BaFin's review. In cases of doubt, it is advisable to seek legal advice.

In the event of a dispute, BaFin offers the parties involved, in addition to the complaint, the possibility of settling the dispute out of court if your complaint case is suitable for this.
Regardless of which body is responsible for arbitrating a specific disagreement, all procedures have certain principles in common:

  • For the most part, arbitration proceedings are in writing.
  • Before a conciliation procedure, you should always have complained in writing to the company or institution concerned.
  • The conciliation procedure itself is generally free of charge for you as a consumer.
  • If you do not agree with the arbitrator's decision, you can still decide to take legal action, i.e. sue the institution in question.

BaFin is not responsible for complaints about

  • the statutory health insurance, accident insurance, pension insurance or municipal compensation for damages
  • the stock exchange supervisory authority,
  • some smaller insurance companies operating only regionally, which are subject to state supervision,
  • for closed-end real estate funds and other comparable funds, for intermediaries of investment funds and other financial service providers that do not conduct business subject to licensing under the German Banking Act.
  • Restrictions also apply to foreign companies.
  • as detailed a description of your problem as possible (with signature)
  • copies of documents which help you to understand the matter; for example, contract, statements of account, insurance certificate, correspondence
  • if you are complaining on behalf of someone else: a written power of attorney stating that you are authorised to act on behalf of the person concerned
  • if you are represented by someone else in making the complaint: a written power of attorney for the authorized person
  • Forms: yes
  • Online procedure possible: yes
  • Written form required: yes
  • Personal appearance required: no

Related Links

  • Beschwerdeformular im Bereich Versicherungen
  • Beschwerdeformular im Bereich Banken (außer zu Basiskonten)


BaFin supervises the company about which you file a complaint.

Section 342 KAGB, Section 4b FinDAG

Related Links

  • § 342 Beschwerdeverfahren Kapitalanlagegesetzbuch (KAGB)
  • § 4b Beschwerden Gesetz über die Bundesanstalt für Finanzdienstleistungsaufsicht (Finanzdienstleistungsaufsichtsgesetz - FinDAG)

Related Links

  • Überblick zu Beschwerdemöglichkeiten bei der BaFin
  • Übersicht BaFin beaufsichtigte Unternehmen (Unternehmensdatenbank)

For complaints against insurance companies or banks, you can use the respective online complaint form. To do so, go to the BaFin website.

  • There you will find BaFin's online complaint forms on the "Complain to BaFin" page.
    • Complaint form for insurance companies
    • Complaint form for banks (except for basic accounts)
  • Your complaint should contain the following information:
  • Your name and address
  • in the case of a complaint on behalf of another person: name and address of the person or persons concerned
  • Name and address of the company concerned
  • in the case of a complaint about an insurance company:
    • Type of insurance
    • Policy number
    • if available: Claim number
  • in the case of a complaint about a credit or financial services institution:
    • Type of business relationship (e.g. securities account, current account, savings contract)
    • Account or customer number
    • Name of the account holder, if this is not yourself
  • in the case of complaints relating to the purchase of securities:
    • Securities identification number (WKN or ISIN)
  • if you wish to complain about a capital management company:
    • Full name of the investment fund concerned (and WKN or ISIN) and name of the custodian.

BaFin normally examines complaints in several steps:

  • First, it checks whether your case can already be assessed on the basis of the information you have provided and the documents you have submitted.
  • If not, BaFin clarifies the facts further. To do this, it requests a statement from the company concerned. As a rule, BaFin forwards your letter of complaint to the company.
  • The company comments on your complaint to BaFin.
  • BaFin examines the company's statement in accordance with supervisory standards and decides whether and, if so, to what extent further action against the company is necessary. However, BaFin will generally not inform you of the outcome of its examination due to its mandate and its duty of confidentiality.
  • In any case, you will receive a final letter regarding your complaint. If the company agrees, BaFin will also forward its statement on your complaint to you.

Responsible for the content
Federal Ministry of Finance

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