Banco de Portugal: new online form launched to report breaches of the rules applicable to credit institutions and financial companies

LISBON, 23-9-2015 — /EuropaWire/ — Banco de Portugal publishes today in its website an online form trough which it will be possible to report breaches to the rules applicable to credit institutions and financial companies.

Banco de Portugal encourages any person who is aware of strong evidence of this type of breaches to report it via this online form.

This breach reporting mechanism is not intended for complaints of bank customers against credit institutions and financial companies. Those complaints may continue to be submitted to Banco de Portugal through a specific form, available on the Bank Customer Website (only in Portuguese).

What kind of breaches can be reported?

It is possible to report to Banco de Portugal breaches of the duties laid down:

  • In the Legal Framework of Credit Institutions and Financial Companies;
  • In Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 of 26 June 2013 on prudential requirements for credit institutions and investment firms.

How to report a breach?

Step 1: Fill in the online form

  • Although anonymous reports are accepted, providing the contact details of the person who reports the breach allows Banco de Portugal to request further information if necessary.
  • Information provided should be as accurate and complete as possible.

Step 2: Submit supporting documents

Banco de Portugal recommends submitting documents to support the allegations.

  • Upload the documents directly through the form; or
  • Submit supporting documents to the postal address provided on completion of the form.

Confidentiality

Banco de Portugal ensures protection of personal data received via the online breach reporting form, in compliance with Law No 67/98 of 26 October.

Confidentiality is also guaranteed on the identity of persons who report breaches at all times or until the moment when such information is required for safeguarding the rights of defence of the persons who are alleged to have committed a breach, under any ensuing investigations or subsequent judicial proceedings.

Reports submitted may not in themselves serve as grounds for initiation of disciplinary, civil or criminal proceedings by the credit institution against the persons reporting breaches, except if they are deliberately and clearly unsubstantiated.

All reports must be submitted in good faith and with reasonable grounds. Deliberate and unsubstantiated misuse of the Breach Reporting Mechanism may constitute a criminal offence.

Legal basis

According to Article 71 of Directive 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013, ‘Member States shall ensure that competent authorities establish effective and reliable mechanisms to encourage reporting of potential or actual breaches of national provisions transposing this Directive and of Regulation (EU) No 575/2013 to competent authorities’.

This article was transposed by Article 116-H of the Legal Framework of Credit Institutions and Financial Companies (currently Article 116-AB), through Decree-Law No 157/2014 of 24 October. Its Article 1 stipulates that ‘any person who is aware of strong evidence of breaches of this Legal Framework or Regulations (EU) No 575/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013, may report it to Banco de Portugal’.

In order to ensure compliance with the above rules (and similarly to the European Central Bank within its field of competence), Banco de Portugal has created this online form.

SOURCE: Banco de Portugal

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