Responsible Finance Forum

Client Protection Principles: Model Law and Commentary for Financial Consumer Protection

Erik D. Choisy, Jay Gary Finkelstein and Sara K. Andrews
29 April 2015
Source:  Microfinance CEO Working Group
 DLA Piper/New Perimeter
 ACCION/The Smart Campaign

This Model Law and Commentary (collectively, the “Model Law”) creates a legal framework for financial consumer protection based on the Smart Campaign’s Client Protection Principles. It draws upon a broad survey of experts, relevant scholarship, and existing laws and regulations from countries across the globe. The document presented here reflects this background research, distilled into model legislative language with accompanying commentary.

The Model Law is intended for three main uses. First, it may be useful to policy makers as a tool in developing actual, enacted legislation. Taken as a whole, the Model Law forms a complete legal regime for client protection in line with the Client Protection Principles. However, the Model Law is also designed to facilitate adoption in parts, where individual sections or provisions may be adopted to fill in legal or regulatory gaps. And, of course, any adopting jurisdiction will have to adjust the Model Law’s provisions to fit local precedents and circumstances.

Second, the Model Law can be used to assess a given jurisdiction’s client protection regulatory regime. By setting the Model Law side-by-side with a jurisdiction’s current legislation and regulation, policy makers and commentators can easily assess how that jurisdiction’s legal framework compares with a model approach based on the Client Protection Principles.

Third, the Model Law may serve as a resource for the development of codes of conduct and guidelines, either for a single financial service provider or for any group or industry association. While the document is in the format of legislation, the systems and approaches described in the Model Law may provide guidance on effective ways to promote client protection through the internal operation of financial service providers.