Capital market sectorPrint
There was no substantial difference in the number of petitions submitted to the Board in 2016 in respect of disputes related to capital markets compared to the 2015 figures. It can be still stated that the ratio of disputes related to investment services and supplementary investment services is negligible compared to the total number of petitions received. Of the cases related to the said market, hearings were held in 62 cases, during which the parties concluded a settlement agreement in 14 cases, agreed outside the procedure in 4 cases and in further 12 cases the petitioners – in view of the continued consultations between the parties – withdrew their petitions.
Disputes related to investment services often concerned the fulfilment of orders and the sales of related securities, or forced liquidation of positions.
In these cases the parties often concluded a settlement agreement. There was a case in which the service provider, maintaining its position that according to the general agreement between the parties the investment risk is borne by the customer and the situation was caused by a reason beyond the service provider's control (system error), based on which the customer made his investment decision that later on generated a loss for him, in view of the fiduciary relation between the parties and with the intention to retain the customer, the service providers usually reimbursed the customer's investment loss, albeit partially.
Petitions still often disputed the legitimacy and amount of the deductions charged to the amounts transferred to investment accounts, and the issue whether or not the activity performed by the given investment firm qualified as investment advisory services. In the latter issue, the petitioners' basic allegation was that they received advice-like proposals from the staff of the investment firm with regard to the instruments they should invest in, as a result of which – due to unfavourable price fluctuations – later they realised a loss, and in the proceedings they wanted to enforce these claims in the form of damages.
During the year several disputes were generated in relation to securities accounts serving for depositing of shares connected to timeshare plans. In these cases petitioners disputed the account-keeping institution's right to increase fees and the rate of the account-keeping fee. The said cases usually ended with a settlement agreement, in which the service provider waived part of the fee charged and permitted the transfer of shares to another account-keeping institution.
As regards the capital market cases and particularly the legal relationships related to the fulfilment of orders and the investment advisory services, it can be stated that the fiduciary relation between the parties has a significant bearing on the customers' decisions, in view of which the parties often agreed, after consulting directly, that they would settle their dispute outside the Board's proceeding. In these cases petitioners withdrew their petition and as such the proceeding was terminated.