For us, adhering to legal requirements in our customer relationships has the highest priority on all levels and is systematically guaranteed by comprehensive internal regulations. In its retail customer business, Frankfurter Sparkasse has developed sales guidelines that are based on regulatory requirements in the Securities Trading Act and that emphasise the interests of customers. The same applies to Landesbausparkasse LBS Hessen-Thüringen and to all direct banking services that are provided by 1822direkt.
We affirm our commitment to fair competition by gaining the trust of our customers with our expertise and values. Therefore, our marketing is always visible as a form of advertising communication and places an emphasis on the customer and their needs. We reject misleading or aggressive advertising in all its forms.
All analogue and digital advertisements are reviewed by a legal expert before their publication. The actual implementation of all rules and values is monitored and ensured by, among others, the association’s auditors, the bank’s internal audit department, the compliance department and, additionally in the case of Frankfurter Sparkasse, by conducting customer surveys.
The protection of personal data or other customer data is also at the centre of our marketing and sales activities. By involving Helaba’s Data Protection Officer as well as IT security management, we ensure adherence to statutory data protection provisions and to specific data processing purposes during the entire marketing process in the digital collection and transfer of data. This also applies to customer data that is obtained in connection with marketing campaigns.
Customer advice based on mutual trust
Our customer relationships are based on our core values of focusing on and respecting the customer. Over and above this, Frankfurter Sparkasse makes reference in its ethics guidelines to the particular responsibility and sensitivity that form the basis of their sales and marketing activities and advisory services, among other things.
In its sales practices, Frankfurter Sparkasse has implemented a customer advisory service that is based on mutual trust. Half of a customer adviser’s appraisal is based on qualitative targets in order to incentivise them to provide a high quality of advice. Frankfurter Sparkasse regularly organises training courses for its sales staff on the sales philosophy of Sparkassen, especially on the bank’s financing concept as well as on the application of consumer-related guidelines and laws. The effectiveness of these measures is regularly monitored by carrying out surveys among new and existing customers.
Opportunities for redress
Helaba participates in the dispute resolution process of the Association of German Public Banks e.V. (VÖB). Customers have the option of calling the consumer arbitration service at VÖB. This service is free of charge for consumers.
In addition, customers of Frankfurter Sparkasse and Frankfurter Bankgesellschaft are able to approach the German Savings Banks Association (DSGV), where the facts at issue in the dispute can be reviewed free of charge. The aim is to achieve an extrajudicial resolution to any dispute between the customer and the Sparkasse.