Who are the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier?
The Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier (CSSF) is the main regulator of the financial markets in Luxembourg.
Its main responsibility is to uphold the highest standards of governance within the sector, be it investment firms, financial advisers, trading facilitators or the securities markets as a whole.
In 1998, the CSSF replaced the previous regulators of the financial market, the Commissariat aux Bourses and the Institut Monétaire Luxembourgeois, which then went on to become the Banque Centrale du Luxembourg.
The main focus of the CSSF is investor protection, and it will seek to resolve the complaints and disputes put to it by investors and secure necessary action (i.e. compensation) where appropriate. Because there is no financial ombudsman or independent body in Luxembourg, this validation process falls solely upon the CSSF.
On a wider scale, the CSSF has the stated mission of ensuring the stability of the financial sector and maintaining the quality of all of the entities that operate within the market in Luxembourg.
Regulatory areas and powers
There is a wide scope for the CSSF and its regulatory powers, and this ensures that it is able to govern all entities that fall under the financial services and ‘investments’ banner.
It is responsible for ensuring that all regulation covering the financial sector is being upheld and applied, with a duty of monitoring and evaluation of all entities under its supervision. The CSSF is able to enforce a variety of disciplinary action upon the parties concerned. However, the organisation is unable to conduct criminal investigations, and such cases are referred to the state prosecutor for further action.
The CSSF can request reporting information, seize control of documents and equipment, carry out on-site investigations, freeze assets, and much more besides.
All firms that wish to operate in the Luxembourg market have to be authorised by the CSSF, and any authorised firms must abide by the legislation set out by the regulator.
How to check if a broker is regulated by the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier
The CSSF has published its own official list of registered entities, and a company search can be completed by heading to https://searchentities.apps.cssf.lu/search-entities/search?language=en&type=PIN#AdvancedSearch.
It is possible to search by individual company name or within specific categories to examine the full list of operators.
The website also has a huge ‘Publication and Data’ resource at https://www.cssf.lu/en/publication-data/?entity_type=9&content_type=617. This is useful as it outlines a number of different warnings and provides risk reporting on firms operating within the financial sector, which may help customers and investors to protect themselves from being scammed or from investing their money with an incompetent company.
Making a complaint
If a customer wishes to make a complaint against a firm that has been authorised by the CSSF, then they should visit https://www.cssf.lu/en/customer-complaint/.
The CSSF is an ‘alternative dispute resolution’ service, and this essentially means that it tries to resolve all complaints received outside the courtroom setting – securing an apology and/or compensation for wronged parties where applicable.
The firm in question must be supervised by the CSSF and feature on its entity search database and, as long as the customer fits the criteria (see the bullet points on the webpage linked above), the regulator will investigate the matter.
To submit a complaint, complete the online complaint form, or alternatively fill out the form and send it via email or post, using the addresses provided.