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Banking ombudsman faces fewer complaints

Hanspeter Häni, the Swiss banking ombudsman, had much less on his list of complaints last year than in 2009, the record year marked by the financial crisis.

The number of requests submitted to the banking mediator in 2010 was 1,984, compared with 4,757 a year before.

After the two extreme years of 2008 and 2009, Häni reported at a news conference in Zurich on Tuesday that the number of requests for help had stabilised.

However, he admitted that the nearly 2,000 cases registered in 2010 were still “very many” and were linked with the turbulences on the financial markets.

“Last year we still had requests about Lehman Brothers, the Icelandic banks – Kaupthing Bank and Landsbanki Islands – and products claiming an absolute return.”

He said changes in client behaviour reflected a certain lack of confidence in Swiss banking institutions. He added that this mistrust did not concern a few financial institutions, but the entire branch.

The Swiss banking ombudsman is an impartial source of information and an intermediary whose services are free. He deals with specific complaints which are raised against banks based in Switzerland. and agencies

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