What happens next

Once the Banking and Financial Ombudsman has received the complaint, it follows this procedure.

Preparatory phase

The ABF verifies the thoroughness, regularity and timeliness of the documentation submitted.

You may be asked to regularize the complaint and provide further details within a strict deadline.

To answer any requests, please check the reserved area of the Web Portal regularly. Remember to verify the contact details you provided (email, cell phone) for interacting with the ABF (for example, to respond promptly to a request for additional documentation). Make sure that your inbox is not full, otherwise you will not receive notifications and you might miss an important communication.

Completing the complaint file

The complaint is promptly forwarded to the intermediary, who, within the mandatory term of 30 days (or 45 if it is a member of an association of intermediaries) transmits its defence brief to the ABF.

Within the mandatory time period of 25 days from the receipt of the defence brief you may reply just once, without expanding on the initial complaint.

The intermediary may in turn reply with only one rejoinder within the mandatory period of 15 days (or 20 if it is a member of an association of intermediaries) of receiving your response.

Please note

Remember to respect the terms granted to you for submitting supplementary documentation and rejoinders: the Territorial Panels never take into account any documentation submitted beyond the mandatory deadlines set, except for limited exceptions (e.g. waiver of the appeal, communication of a settlement or conciliation agreement).
After the defence brief and rejoinders have been received, or once the mandatory deadline for their filing has expired, the parties will be informed of the date on which the complaint file may be considered complete.


A period of 90 days from the date of completion of the complaint file is provided for communicating the outcome of the dispute, which can also involve sending the outcome of the dispute alone; in this case, there is a deadline of 30 days for sending the decision, including the reasoning.

The term of 90 days may be extended for a total period not exceeding 90 days overall if your dispute is particularly complex (e.g. due to the specific nature of the subject matter dealt with, if the case is referred to the Coordinating Panel, or if a complaint on the same issue is referred to the Coordinating Panel). In any case, you will be informed of this extension and of the new deadline for the conclusion of the procedure.

In disputes where there is consolidated case law of the Territorial Panels on the issue that is the subject of the complaint, which could lead to the acceptance of the complainant’s application, the dispute can be handled more quickly by the ABF, without waiting for the decision of the Territorial Panel. Specifically:

  • if according to the ABF case law your complaint would be fully upheld, the complaint may be decided directly and by the Chair of the Territorial Panel alone; in this case, the intermediary may request within 30 days that the matter be referred to the Territorial Panel, specifying the reasons why it does not agree with the Chair's decision;


  • if according to the ABF case law your complaint would be upheld but only partially, the Chair of the Territorial Panel may propose an early resolution of the dispute to the parties on an agreed basis. In this case, the parties must decide within 30 days whether they intend to adhere to the proposal; in this case, the dispute will be resolved. In the event of failure to adhere to the proposed solution, or if the parties do not communicate anything, the appeal is examined by the Territorial Panel.

The complaint is decided based exclusively on the documentation filed in the preparatory phase or of anything the Panel might request.

If the complaint is upheld, even if only partially, the intermediary must comply within 30 days from when the decision is communicated, including the reasoning.

If the client or the intermediary find material or calculation errors or omissions in the decision, they may, within the mandatory term of 30 days of the communication of the decision, ask for it to be corrected. The request for a correction, if filed by the client, must be filed by means of the Web Portal or, for complaints submitted in hard copy, they may make a request by mail, fax, or presented in person.

Please note

To obtain detailed information on the progress of your complaint, bear in mind that you can always check the progress bar on the Web Portal. (see the Practical Guide, part 2, section "Le attività successive all'invio del ricorso", available only in Italian).

Notice of non-compliance

An intermediary who does not comply with the decision and does not cooperate with the procedure is considered non-compliant. Notice of its non-compliance is published on the website of the intermediary for six months and also on the ABF's website for five years, in the section Non-compliant financial intermediaries.


  1. A simple guide to the ABF (only in Italian)