Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection, locally known as Urząd Ochrony Konkurencji i Konsumentów (UOKiK), has initiated a probe against ten big banks and brokers as they are experiencing regular outages with growing trading demand.
The platforms under scrutiny are Alior Bank, Bank Polska Kasa Opieki, Dom Maklerski Banku BPS, Dom Maklerski Banku Handlowego, Dom Maklerski Banku Ochrony Środowiska, ING Bank Śląski, mBank, PKO Bank Polski, Santander Bank Polska, and X-Trade Brokers (XTB).
The primary motive of the probe is to check whether the frequent outages had resulted in the loss of clients’ money.
Tomasz Chróstny, President of the UOKiK, detailed that the failures of information and communication systems in brokerage houses are under scrutiny.
“We will verify their contracts and regulations for the presence of any prohibited clauses,” Chróstny said (translated from Polish). “Brokerage houses should not exclude their liability to the client due to failures that may result from their negligence or the fault of the entities they cooperate with. I also want to check how brokerage houses deal with consumer complaints regarding possible damages resulting from the failure of ICT systems.”
Who Is Responsible?
The probe will analyze the terms of contracts to check the brokers’ liability in case of an IT infrastructure failure and evaluate the policy for handling customer complaints and claims.
Moreover, the agency will determine the root cause of the outages and the platforms’ response to them.
“If the consumer suffered damage related to the failure of the order system in the brokerage house, he should first contact this financial institution and file a complaint,” Chróstny added.
“If the cause of the breakdown is on the part of the brokerage house and could have prevented it, it cannot shirk its responsibility in such a situation and cover it, for example, by force majeure.”