Financial Consumer Protection Pursued
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and other Financial Regulators such as the Securities and Exchange Commission, Insurance Commission, and Cooperative Development Authority, are closely coordinating with the Senate of the Philippines for the immediate passage of the proposed Financial Consumer Protection Act (FCPA).
“The Financial Consumer Protection Act is a timely reform amid the growing complexity of financial products and services in the country and is aligned with BSP’s commitment to promote digitalization and protect financial consumer welfare,” said BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno.
“As the BSP promotes the digitalization of financial services, we also support the passage of the law that will provide our consumers with legal protection as they explore the opportunities and face risks associated with the evolving financial landscape,” explained the Governor.
On 02 June 2020, the House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill No. 6768, or “An Act Affording More Protection to Consumers of Financial Products and Services,” which was transmitted to the Senate the next day.
Meanwhile, Senate Bill Nos. 60, 534, 1329, 1335, 1739 and 2287 have also been filed and referred to the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies. A Sub-Committee headed by Senator Sherwin “Win” Gatchalian has been designated to deliberate on these bills.
To expedite the passage of the proposed FCPA into law, the BSP and other Financial Regulators are closely coordinating with the Senate Committee on Banks, Financial Institutions and Currencies and the Sub-committee.
“The legislative measure empowers financial regulators to take necessary actions against financial entities performing acts that may undermine consumer welfare and provides a redress mechanism. This is seen to further strengthen the trust and confidence of the public in the financial system,” according to Governor Diokno.
The FCPA covers all financial products and services; institutionalizes consumer protection standards; and promotes transparent and responsible pricing, fair and respectful treatment of clients' privacy, and client data protection.
The proposed law also gives Financial Regulators the authority to issue rules and regulations that will ensure consumer protection; conduct hearings on consumer complaints; and enforce action such as restriction on the imposition of excessive or unreasonable interests, fees or charges.
The legislative measure also requires Financial Service Providers to install monitoring systems to ensure compliance with the law and identify risks inherent in their operations.