6 April 2022
The report on the complaints and requests for information for 2021 that is published today, shows a 21% decrease in the number of complaints compared to 2020, down to 334. This decrease largely reflects the lower volatility in the financial markets when compared to 2020 which is quite marked by the pandemic context.
Typically, complaints concerning financial intermediation activities and services display the largest weight in the total number of complaints, although they registered a decrease in 2021. In contrast, the number of complaints brought against managing entities of crowdfunding platforms continued to increase and so too, complaints brought against entities that provide financial intermediation services in Portugal under the Freedom to Provide Services Act.
Execution of orders, despite continuing to be the most mentioned subject of complaints, saw its supremacy decrease significantly in 2021, which also reflects greater stability in the markets. On the other hand, and still regarding the analysis of complaints by subject, the weight of complaints related to commissions and fees, increased compared to the previous year. CMVM has been paying particular attention to this issue and seeks to ensure that investors have access to complete and transparent information on the costs of with their investment decisions.
In 2021, there were no complaints that the CMVM considered to show elements substantiating the complainant's position and that the complainee did not comply with the complainant's claim, which signals a positive evolution in strengthening investor protection.
Contrary to the drop in the number of complaints, there was a significant increase (50%) in requests for information received at the CMVM, which partially reflects a certain degree of risk arising from trends in digitisation and the use of digital media by investors.
This increase was particularly clear between the months of March and May, when there was a substantial number of requests for information on a group of individuals with a significant number of followers on the social networks, whose activities could potentially be considered as unauthorised financial intermediation activities. In this context, the weight of requests for information related to possible situations of unauthorised financial intermediation quadrupled in 2021.
Among the most relevant matters regarding investor support, we highlight the records of face-to-face interactions, prior to making investment decisions, between investors and employees of financial intermediaries. In this respect, the CMVM recommends that investors carry out a careful review of the records to ensure that they contain all the relevant information received.
Investment gamification was a further topic that was identified by the CMVM. It stems from the increasing use of digital investment platforms, the greater ease of access to investment and the growing use of social networks as an information source. The CMVM has carefully followed these phenomena and the potential risks that arise from said and due to this, several communications on this topic were disclosed to investors in 2021.
The CMVM also warns on the restriction measures applicable to the marketing of CFDs, which aim to protect the retail investor, namely, as to the duty for financial intermediaries to close positions in CFDs due to insufficient margins, thus preventing the risk of significant losses for investors.
The results of the supervision carried out on some foreign investment companies that market PRIIPs in Portugal under the Freedom to Provide Services Act are also specified, which made it possible to overcome shortcomings as regards information made available to investors residing in Portugal.