Financial regulators move to improve consumer education, end scams
The Philippines has made significant progress in creating a unified supervision scheme with an end goal of protecting consumers and combatting the proliferation of investor scams in the future, according to the head of the interagency group of regulators.
In a statement, Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Governor Benjamin Diokno, who also chairs the Financial Sector Forum (FSF), said inroads have been made by working committees in the areas of financial sector supervision, financial technology and consumer protection and financial literacy.
The FSF is a group comprised of the BSP, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Insurance Commission and the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation.“The member-agencies of the [FSF] are committed to implement financial sector reforms to promote effective and seamless supervision across the financial sector,” Diokno said.
“We will leverage on our cooperative arrangement to align standards and expectations and ensure that we continue to espouse an enabling environment toward an inclusive recovery and economic growth,” he added.
Following the publication of the Financial System Stability Assessment prepared by the International Monetary Fund, the FSF took note of the interagency recommendations of the multilateral institution aimed at promoting effective supervision in the financial sector.
These recommendations cover gaps in legal power of financial sector supervisors related to bank secrecy laws and conglomerate supervision, which were also earlier cited in the joint IMF-World Bank assessment of the BSP’s observance of the Basel core principles for effective banking supervision.
The results of the assessment will feed into the development of a strategic roadmap for the financial sector.
The member-agencies of the FSF also discussed the key activities that will be undertaken under the signed memorandum of agreement on the establishment of a cooperative oversight framework on fintech innovation.
In particular, existing regulations will be reviewed to harmonize baseline components and controls in the areas of customer onboarding and consumer protection across the financial sector.
During last week’s meeting, existing initiatives of the FSF to strengthen information exchange across agencies were also discussed cognizant that this is critical in strengthening risk surveillance activities in the financial sector.
In addition, the member-agencies committed to continue the FSF’s work on conducting financial learning programs and producing related materials for varied segments of the market.
In line with this, the FSF, in collaboration with the Commission on Higher Education, the National Economic and Development Authority and Philam Foundation are designing a general elective course module which will cover basic concepts on financial management, banking, insurance, securities and digital finance to equip students with practical skills on making prudent financial decisions.
— Daxim L. Lucas INQ
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