Responsible Finance Forum

Best Practices and Recommendations on Financial Consumer Protection

02 April 2011
Source:  Association of Supervisors of Banks of the Americas

In the last fifteen years, financial systems in the Americas have experienced substantial regulatory and institutional changes as a result of periods of crisis. These changes reflect financial sector authorities and regulators ´ search for sustained economic growth in the region, under stable financial conditions and having removed barriers for the adequate provision of financial services.

In this regard, the provision of financial services has become a priority in various countries in the region, a fact highlighted by a growing number of jurisdictions introducing reforms and commitments to improve the access and use of financial services for a wider population. In this light, the G20 leaders have included in their agenda the advancement of financial inclusion through the creation of the Global Partnership for Financial Inclusion (GPFI) which aims to identify and implement innovative approaches to improve access to financial services, financial literacy, and financial consumer protection.

It is evident for financial regulatory and supervisory authorities that consumer protection issues have gained a similar level of importance, as other technical aspects in the regulatory agenda. This topic´s relevance is driven by the continuous discussions regarding the adequate provision of financial services. In a similar manner and without leaving aside the reform agenda that aims at improving regulatory standards and frameworks which dictate how the financial industry operates, it is evident that the relationship between financial institutions and their customers has recently acquired a higher degree of priority.