Good Practices of Consumer Protection in Financial Services

Published in 
Thursday, 16 October, 2008 - 12:15 to 16:45
CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies 1 Place du Congrès / Congresplein 1000 Brussels

The World Bank is a major driver of good practices in consumer protection in financial services. It has prepared an initial set of good practices in financial consumer protection as a diagnostic tool for identifying priorities for future reform in financial consumer protection.

At this workshop at the European Credit Research Institute in Brussels, the World Bank presented its good practices to the European audience and seeked comments from stakeholders.

Consumer protection in financial services lies at the heart of financial sector that is efficient, competitive and fair. Three areas are important: clear and comprehensible information of consumers; cost-efficient recourse mechanisms, and education programs that allow consumers to become financially literate so that they can make informed decisions. The World Bank has conducted pilot Diagnostic Review on Consumer Protection in Financial Services in six ECA countries so far (Azerbaijan, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and the latest one in Russia). In the process a variety of stakeholders were involved, national government officials, industry officials and consumer advocates. The program is intended to be expanded globally in 2009. It is expected to be helpful to the international community and those in emerging markets who are looking to establish common ground for minimum good practices in financial consumer protection.

The workshop, chaired by ECRI Head of Research Nicola Jentzsch, consisted of two panels, each followed by a discussion session. We were pleased to welcome the Head of Unit for Financial services Dirk Staudenmayer from DG Health and Consumers, European Commission, Deputy Head of Unit Eric Ducoulombier from DG Internal Market and Services, European Commission, and Olle Schmidt, Member of the European Parliament and Shadow rapporteur of the recently published Draft Report on consumer education as regards credit from the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The World Bank publication was presented and discussed by Rodney Lester, Programme Director of Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and Sue Rutledge, Corporate Governance Coordinator from the World Bank.

Please use the following links to download the programme, the minutes, the consultative draft of the World Bank report, and the presentations by Sue Rutledge, Rodney Lester and Eric Ducoulombier.

Further information on the World Bank's Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy programme can be found at www.worldbank.org/eca/consumerprotection.

The workshop took place at CEPS premises on 16 October 2008 from 12.15 to 16.45.