The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas issued a circular on Monday to implement Republic Act No. 11765 or the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act in line with its broader efforts to promote the welfare of financial consumers.
BSP Governor Felipe Medalla said Circular 1160 was expected to bolster the regulator’s longstanding initiatives to protect the interest of consumers who entrust their funds to financial institutions.
“This is seen to contribute significantly to the stability of the financial system,” Medalla said.
The circular covers all financial products and services created, developed or marketed by BSP-supervised institutions. These include, but are not limited to deposits, investments, fund transfers, trust products, loans, payments, remittances and the broad range of financial products or services accessed and delivered through digital channels.
It requires BSP-supervised institutions to establish a consumer protection risk management system for further safeguarding of client welfare.
It also mandates these institutions to adhere to the Standards of Disclosure and Transparency to ensure that accurate information about its products and services are provided; Fair Treatment to guard against discriminatory practices; Protection of Client Data in view of the Data Privacy Act; and Effective Recourse for handling clients’ complaints.
The circular also directs BSP-supervised institutions to practice responsible pricing of products and services; provide cooling-off periods which allow clients to consider costs and risks of financial products and services without pressure; and setup a 24/7 channel for reporting of fraud or misuse.
The circular also said BSP-supervised institutions are liable for violations of the Financial Products and Services Consumer Protection Act by its personnel, third-party agents and service providers.
Sanctions for BSP-supervised institutions include fines, penalties, cease and desist orders and administrative cases against its officers. The circular also asks consumers to keep themselves informed and protected when making financial transactions.