Rules on handling client complaints and the out-of-court dispute settlements
This is an English translation of the Slovenian original provided as a reference to aid the understanding of the relevant documents. Equito Brokerage Company, Ltd. shall not be held responsible for any erroneous translations and is presented as is. In case of a discrepancy, the Slovenian original will prevail as an official document and applicable for interpretation.
1. INTRODUCTORY AND GENERAL PROVISIONS
1.1 Subject to regulation
The Rules on client complaints and out-of-court dispute resolution (the “Rules”) set out the procedure for resolving disputes between the Company and its clients.
The dispute settlement process includes:
i. an internal complaints procedure; and
ii. out-of-court dispute resolution.
All disputes between the clients and the Company shall be resolved in the first instance through an internal complaints procedure.
A client who is dissatisfied with a decision of the Company issued in the internal complaint procedure or whose complaint has not been decided in the internal complaint procedure within the time limits set out in these Rules may initiate an out-of-court dispute resolution procedure.
2. INTERNAL COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE
2.1. Fundamental principles
The Company follows the following basic principles in dealing with customer complaints:
i. equal treatment of clients;
ii. avoiding conflicts of interest;
iii. fairness and justice;
iv. legality and professionalism;
v. confidentiality and protection of personal data; and
vi. efficiency and speed.
2.2. Content of the complaint
A complaint is any disagreement, dispute or claim of a client, regardless of the formal substance of such disagreement, dispute or claim of the client.
In order for the Company to treat a particular disagreement, dispute or claim as a complaint, it must be clear from its content to which client it relates and what the substance of the disagreement, dispute or claim is.
2.3. Lodging a complaint
The Customer must submit the complaint in writing by post to the Company’s address Ameriška ulica 8, 1000 Ljubljana or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or in person by telephone or at the Company’s registered office.
A written complaint shall be deemed to have been received on the date on which it reaches the registered office of the Company. A complaint sent by e-mail shall be deemed to have been received on the same day as it was sent if it reaches the Company’s e-mail address in the Company’s e-mail inbox by 4 p.m. on the same day. Complaints that arrive at the Company’s e-mail address after 4 p.m. on a given day shall be deemed to have been received on the next working day. Complaints made by telephone or in person shall be deemed to have been received at the time of transmission.
2.4. Handling complaints
The handling of complaints is the responsibility of the Customer Service Department, which has the following tasks and responsibilities:
i. decide whether it is a complaint within the meaning of these Rules;
ii. collect information and documentation on complaint cases to clarify the circumstances of the causes of the complaints;
iii. keep a record of complaints received from clients;
iv. forward the complaint to the Company’s management, which is responsible for resolving complaints;
v. monitor compliance with the time limits for responding to complaints;
vi. ensuring that complaints are handled fairly, promptly, efficiently and effectively;
vii. draws the attention of the Company’s management to any operational irregularities it encounters during internal complaints procedures;
viii. prepare reports for the Company’s management and the Securities Market Agency;
ix. suggest improvements, guidelines and recommendations to the Company’s management to address the causes of complaints and improve the overall performance of the business.
On receipt of a complaint, the Customer Service Department shall first check whether the application received constitutes a complaint within the meaning of these Rules and whether it was lodged in time. If it is not, it shall discontinue the appeal procedure, reject the application and inform the client accordingly.
If the complaint is incomplete, the Company shall, within 15 days of receipt of the complaint, invite the client to complete the complaint. If the client fails to submit a complete complaint in accordance with the instructions for completion within 15 days of the Company’s invitation, the complaint shall be rejected.
If the Customer Service Department determines that the complaint is a timely complaint within the meaning of these Rules, it shall initiate a process of investigation of the facts and circumstances for the purpose of determining the validity of the ground of complaint. All employees and external contractors shall be required to provide evidence and explain the circumstances relating to the ground of complaint.
The Customer Service Department shall notify the Company’s management responsible for complaint handling of any timely and complete complaint. The Company’s management shall be autonomous and independent in the resolution of complaints.
If the Company does not reject the complaint as incomplete or untimely, the Company may appeal through its internal complaints procedure:
i. is granted in full;
ii. partially grant and partially refuse; or
iii. dismissed in its entirety.
Within 30 days of receipt of the complaint, the Company shall send a written decision on the complaint to the client by registered mail to the address or by e-mail to the e-mail address provided by the client in the process of entering into a business relationship with the Company. If the said time limit expires and the client has not received a reply, the complaint shall be deemed to have been rejected as unfounded in its entirety.
At the end of the appeal procedure, the decision on the appeal shall be entered by the Customer Service Department in the client complaints register.
2.5. Documentation and record-keeping
Upon request, the client shall be given access to the documentation and information relating to his/her complaint at the Company’s registered office in person, unless prohibited by applicable law or other internal rules of the Company. The client shall, exceptionally and upon written decision of the Company’s management, be provided with photocopies of the documentation and information reviewed upon request.
The Company keeps a record of client complaints received and the action taken to resolve them. The manner of keeping and the content of the records of complaints received from clients are set out in the Rules on the manner of keeping records and the client complaints record.
The Company shall also make information relating to the resolution of client complaints available to the public and to the Securities Market Agency upon request by the Securities Market Agency.
The Company regularly analyses complaints handling data to ensure that recurring or systemic problems, as well as potential legal and operational risks, are identified and addressed. The Customer Service Department provides the Company’s management with a report on client complaints in the previous year, analysing the disputed relationships, as well as the forms they take and the reasons for their occurrence, once a year, no later than 31 March.
3. OUT-OF-COURT DISPUTE RESOLUTION
3.1. Out-of-court dispute resolution for clients
Any disagreement, dispute or claim between a non-professional client who is a client and the Company, which cannot be resolved through the internal complaint procedure, may, at the initiative of such client, be resolved through the out-of-court dispute resolution procedure at the provider – European Centre for Dispute Resolution, Tomšičeva ulica 6, 1000 Ljubljana (tel: 08 20 56 590, e-mail: email@example.com), in accordance with the procedure and in the manner set out in the provider’s rules on dispute resolution procedures and the provisions of the Act on out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes.
3.2. Out-of-court dispute resolution for other persons
Disputes with non-professional clients that are not consumers, and that cannot be resolved through the internal complaints procedure will be resolved through arbitration in accordance with the Arbitration Rules of the Permanent Arbitration of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Slovenia. The arbitration panel will be composed of three arbitrators, with the client and the Company each selecting one arbitrator and the two arbitrators selecting the third arbitrator. The seat of the arbitration shall be Ljubljana, Slovenia.
4. FINAL PROVISIONS
4.1. Final provisions
These Rules shall enter into force on the date of authorisation of the Company to provide investment services.