The arbitration procedure of the private Bausparkassen – a fair deal for customers

The private Bausparkassen have always made great efforts to provide their customers with the best possible service.

However, differences of opinion between a customer and a Bausparkasse may occur. If such differences cannot be resolved directly between the Bausparkasse and its customer, the customer may initiate an arbitration procedure with the Schlichtungsstelle (Arbitration Office) of the private Bausparkassen. This settlement procedure has been established in order to find out-of-court solutions for legal disputes.

All private Bausparkassen in Germany participate in the arbitration procedure. Here is a list of all private Bausparkassen in Germany.

In case you have a dispute with one of these Bausparkassen which cannot be resolved, you may file a request with the Schlichtungsstelle.

For this purpose please use this form or formulate your request individually.

When formulating your request, please include the name of the Bausparkasse and where applicable the account number of the Bauspar or loan contract which is the subject of your request.

Please describe the underlying facts of your dispute. Within your presentation you should also describe in detail your claim against the Bausparkasse and what exactly your desired outcome would be (for example: withdrawal of the contract concluded, refund of fees, payment of bonus interests, acceptance of extra savings, compensation, etc.). Please also state how the Bausparkasse has responded to your request.

Along with your request please include copies of the relevant supporting documents, such as a copy of the Bauspar or loan contract, as well as the applicable General Contract Conditions (General Bauspar conditions and loan terms). Please also include copies of any documents or correspondence prior to the contract and a copy of the preceding mail correspondence in this matter with the Bausparkasse. In many cases copies of recent statements of your Bauspar account can also be helpful.

Please send your signed request and the required documentation by mail to the
Association of Private Bausparkassen
Schlichtungsstelle Bausparen
Postfach 30 30 79
10730 Berlin
Germany
E-mail: info(at)schlichtungsstelle-bausparen.de

Please note that there are some conditions that hinder the initiation of the arbitration procedure. Thus, the process cannot take place if

  • an arbitration procedure in the same matter has already been initiated,
  • a request for financial legal aid before a court has been already rejected due to an obviously unfounded claim,
  • a court procedure has been started or a court has already  taken a decision or
  • the dispute has been solved by an out-of-court settlement.

In addition, it should be pointed out that within the arbitration procedure no legal advice – either by the Schlichtungsstelle or by the arbitrator himself – can be granted. No legal opinion can be asked for since the purpose of the arbitration procedure is not to prepare or to serve a court procedure.

Please check the Rules of Procedure in order to find out how the process runs in detail. In any case, you will receive a letter confirming the acknowledgment of your request. You will also be informed about the further course of the proceedings. As soon as the Schlichtungsstelle has received all necessary documents, your request will be forwarded to the affected Bausparkasse, which then has to answer within one month.

If the Bausparkasse does not fulfill the demand of your request, the arbitrator will propose a solution after having evaluated the exchange of views between both parties. The arbitration proposal will be made on the basis of the legal provisions taking into account considerations of equity. It will contain a statement of reasons and will be sent directly to the parties. Within six weeks both parties have the option to accept the arbitration proposal.

Finally, the Schlichtungsstelle informs the parties about the result of the arbitration procedure. The submission of the information about the outcome marks the end of the arbitration procedure.

For any questions concerning the procedure please contact the Schlichtungsstelle:

Association of Private Bausparkassen
Schlichtungsstelle Bausparen
Postfach 30 30 79
10730 Berlin
Germany
Phone: +49 30 59 00 91 500 and +49 30 59 00 91 550
Telefax: +49 30 59 00 91 501
E-mail: info(at)schlichtungsstelle-bausparen.de

The Schlichtungsstelle of the private Bausparkassen is also a member of FIN-NET. FIN-NET is a financial dispute resolution network of national Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) schemes in the European Economic Area countries (the European Union Member States plus Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) that are responsible for handling disputes between consumers and financial services providers, i.e. banks, insurance companies, investment funds, investment intermediaries and others.

Within FIN-NET, the schemes cooperate to provide consumers with an easy access to out-of-court complaint procedures in cross-border cases. If a consumer in one country has a dispute with a financial services provider from another country, FIN-NET members will put the consumer in touch with the relevant ADR scheme and provide the necessary information about it. The relevant ADR scheme would be situated in the country in which the service provider has its branch. The network works in the following way: the consumer can contact an ADR in his/her home country. The home country ADR establishes which ADR is competent and informs the consumer. The home country ADR either transfers the case to the competent ADR or asks consumers to do that. It is the competent ADR from the country of the service provider which carries out the investigation and issues a decision/recommendation.

For more information about FIN-NET please click here.

The mode of operation of FIN-NET is also explained in this video.