Arbitro Bancario Finanziario homepage

The Banking and Financial Ombudsman

The Banking and Financial Ombudsman (ABF) is an alternative dispute resolution scheme for disputes between customers and banks and other financial intermediaries, concerning banking and financial transactions and services. It represents a more simple, rapid and cheaper solution than that offered by the civil courts.

The ABF carries out its tasks and decides disputes as an independent and impartial body, assisted in its work by the Bank of Italy.

The decisions it makes are based only upon the documents provided by the parties (complainant and intermediary); the parties do not need to be assisted by lawyers.

The Ombudsman's decisions are not legal judgments and are not legally binding; however, if the intermediary does not comply with a decision, its non-compliance is made public for five years. After a decision is issued by the ABF, any interested party may submit the dispute to the civil courts.

As well as describing the structure of the ABF and how it works, this website:

  • allows complainant to access the ABF Portal (through the 'Restricted Area') to file and manage complaints;
  • describes how to file a complaint;
  • allows you to consult the decisions of the ABF, and lists non-compliant intermediaries (available in Italian);
  • allows you to download digital versions of the 'Guide on how to use the Web Portal', 'A simple guide to the ABF', the forms for sending complaints on paper (only in those cases where this is still allowed) and the ABF's publications;
  • gives access to the relevant national and EU legislation.