BSP seeks Congress OK of new law to protect financial consumers
MANILA, Philippines—Government regulatory agencies will have to unify efforts to protect Filipino consumer rights under a proposed law meant to pave the way for dispute resolution between retail financial companies and their clients.
At an online press briefing, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno said the BSP was advocating passage of the proposed Financial Consumer Protection Act which strengthens collaboration among regulators in promoting the welfare of financial consumers.
“This measure enhances the authority of regulators to protect the interest of financial consumers,” he said. “This is seen to instil discipline among financial service providers, boost public confidence in our financial markets, and promote financial stability,” Diokno said.
The proposed law, which is now pending in Congress, seeks to provide the BSP, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Insurance Commission and the Cooperative Development Authority with the power to issue consumer protection rules, conduct market surveillance and examination, and adjudicate complaints.
It is also aimed at mandating financial service providers to adhere to standards of fair and respectful treatment of clients, transparency, privacy, protection of data and access to redress mechanism.
The proposed Financial Consumer Protection Act shall serve as an enabling law for protecting the wellbeing of consumers of a wide range of financial products and services amid the increasing use of digital payments.
Aside from this, it provides a clear legal mandate for fostering customer-centric practices in the design and delivery of financial products and services, and the management of client relationships.
Several versions of the proposed law have been filed in the House of Representatives and the Senate. The consolidated version of the bill in the lower chamber, “Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act,” was passed on third reading in June 2020. It was transmitted to the Senate for deliberation in the committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies.
The BSP continues its efforts to advocate the passage of the Financial Consumers Protection Act by participating in related committee hearings and meeting with legislators, Diokno said.
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