Answers to frequently asked questions
1. Who may lodge a complaint?
Any natural or legal person who is a retail investor in relation to an entity supervised by the CMVM may complain of actions considered as inappropriate or detrimental to their interests.
Pursuant to CMVM Regulation No. 2/2016, amended by Regulation No. 3/2019
, the complaint gives rise to a complaint handling procedure that seeks to promote an out-of-court dispute settlement.
2. How may I lodge the complaint?
The complaint may be lodged with the entities that provide financial intermediation services under the CMVM's supervision, namely by completing the compulsory complaint book available at the entity, in relation to financial instruments or similar. The complaint book must be made available as soon as the client requests it.
Alternatively, you can lodge the complaint with the CMVM, preferably by completing the complaint form online, after you have previously presented the situation to the complainee, who then has 15 working days to respond. After this deadline, you may lodge the claim directly with the CMVM, including the presentation made to the claimed entity (with proof of the submission date) and the response obtained, if any. You can also send the complaint to the CMVM by email (firstname.lastname@example.org
) or by post (Rua Laura Alves, nº 4, 1050-138 Lisboa), with all the elements contained in the online complaint form.
3. What can I complain about?
You may complain of any breach of rules or duties arising from the legislation of the financial instrument markets, pursuant to the Securities Code and the respective complementary legislation.
If you are a retail investor and you conflict with the CMVM-supervised entity, the complaint gives rise to a complaint handling procedure that seeks to promote an out-of-court settlement of the dispute pursuant to CMVM Regulation No. 2/2016. This procedure is without prejudice to the CMVM's use of information obtained in the performance of its supervisory duties.
If CMVM Regulation No. 2/2016, as amended by Regulation No. 3/2019, does not apply, the complaint will be valid as a denunciation.
4. Which entities can I complain about?
You may lodge a complaint against CMVM-supervised entities for whom you are considered as a retail investor, including:
- Financial intermediaries and investment advisers;
- Securities issuers;
- Securitisation companies;
- Venture capital companies, social entrepreneurship companies and specialised alternative investment companies;
- Collective investment institutions in corporate form;
- Venture capital companies, venture capital fund management companies and social entrepreneurship companies;
- Managers of regulated markets, multilateral or organised trading systems, settlement systems, clearing house, centralised securities systems, initial registration or centralised registration system administrations and central counterparties.
5. How should I go about filling in the complaint form?
You should fill in the complaint form
clearly and completely, as the lack of essential information may make it impossible to review your complaint.
Complainants shall indicate their full name (and if applicable, their representative), contact details (and if applicable, their representative), the identification number and facts should be described succinctly, clearly and rigorously. If the claim is lodged by a representative, a power of attorney shall be included for the appropriate purposes and a copy of the complaint lodged with the complainee, as well as proof of the date of complaint at the complainee and the response obtained, if any. The complainant shall also attach all documents and other information that may be relevant for the complaint's analysis. The request must be precise.
6. Does complaint lodging incur in costs?
No. The complaint is free of charge for the complainant.
7. May the complaint process be consulted?
Yes. The CMVM provides a page where you can track the status of the complaint (i.e., the process handling stage). The process
is consulted by inserting a personal code that is sent to the complainant upon admission of the complaint.
It is also possible to request in-person consultation, reproduction or certificate of the documents that are part of the complaint process under the Law on Access to Administrative Documents and Administrative Information (Law No. 26/2016 of 22 August), under the terms of law access defined therein.
8. What are CMVM's powers for complaint analysis?
If the complainant is a retail investor and is in conflict with the CMVM-supervised entity, the complaint gives rise to a complaint handling procedure that seeks to promote an out-of-court settlement of the dispute, pursuant to CMVM Regulation No. 2/2016, amended by Regulation No. 3/2019.
In this context, the CMVM analyses the situation as per the regulation rules of the financial instrument markets and issues an opinion as to the compliance of the supervised entity with its obligations and may recommend that the supervised entity meets the complainant's intent, if the elements allow for said conclusion. The completion of this analysis is communicated to the complainant and complainee.
Upon termination of the complaint handling and review procedure, the CMVM may initiate a supervisory process if there are elements that point to the possible breach of legal rules within the scope of CMVM supervision.
9. What happens when the CMVM detects institutions' non-compliance?
In order to promote out-of-court settlement of a conflict, the CMVM may issue recommendations or requirements to supervised entities for fair redress of investor rights if it detects elements that point to non-compliance by those institutions. It should be noted that the CMVM is not responsible for determining any compensation to be awarded to investors who have suffered losses. This may be done through the courts or using extrajudicial dispute resolution.
We also stress that the complaint lodged at the CMVM by the investor, does not suspend or interrupt the legal deadlines for the investor to appeal to the judicial courts.
In addition, once the complaint handling and analysis procedure is terminated, the CMVM may act within the scope of its legal duties, namely by deepening the case at the supervisory level and ascertaining the possible administrative infraction accountability for the facts committed, in a proceeding to be instituted for this purpose.
The legal framework of the administrative infraction proceeding does not include civil compensation for losses due to the infringement. However, compensation for such losses on the defendant's initiative diminishes the actual severity of the offense (by eliminating some of its deleterious consequences) and is always taken into account in several ways:
- In concretely selecting and determining the type of sanction;
- Attenuating liability;
- In the legal possibility of suspending, the execution of the sanction, wholly or in part.
From this perspective, the defendant in an infringement proceeding clearly has an interest in remedying the damage caused and in informing the proceeding of said fact and must do so before the final decision is passed.