Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno said Monday the proposed Financial Consumer Protection Act will have significant benefits to financial consumers.
“The proposed reforms in the financial sector will enhance the authority of regulators and ensure that appropriate mechanisms are in place to safeguard the interest of financial consumers,” Diokno said.
Under the proposed FCPA which is pending Senate deliberation in the committee on banks, financial institutions and currencies, financial regulators may issue a cease-and-desist order without the need for prior hearing in unfair collection practices deemed as threats or harassment against a financial consumer.
Consumers would no longer need to go to court if their claim involves a return of money from a financial service provider. This translates into a prompt and more efficient process when consumers seek reparation in financial transactions, as warranted by financial regulators, according to the BSP.
It said that in cases of undispensed ATM withdrawals, both the depository bank and bank operating the ATM might be liable to cardholders.
“However, when neither is willing to settle a customer’s claim, a consumer may go through the adjudication process and file a claim directly with the BSP,” Diokno said.
Financial service providers found responsible for credit card fraud in online shopping may be subject to sanctions. These include fines, suspension or penalties.
Diokno said consumer protection is a shared responsibility among regulators, consumers, and relevant stakeholders, adding consumer welfare is a continuing agenda of the BSP.
“We enjoin financial institutions, bank organizations, and relevant partners and stakeholders to push consumer protection initiatives forward as the responsibility is too great for any entity to take on singly,” he said.