BSP awaits enactment of law protecting consumers finances
The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas is awaiting the passage of the proposed Financial Consumer Protection act, which President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent.
BSP-North Luzon Regional Director Noel Neil Malimban said the bill sought to strengthen protection for financial consumers. The measure was passed and approved recently by the Senate.
The proposed law sought to reinforce and strengthen the rights of Filipino financial consumers to equitable and fair treatment, disclosure and transparency of financial products and services, protection of consumer assets against ready and misuse, data privacy and protection, and timely handling and redress of complaints.
It provides financial consumers with new, immediate, and efficient avenues for redress by granting financial regulators with adjudicatory authority to conduct hearings on consumer complaints.
“It gives the power to the BSP to adjudicate because dati, mediation lang. When you want to get your feedback, we adjudicate. With limitations because of course, we are not the court,” Malimba said.
Once enacted into law, the BSP will set up a department for adjudication or a department that will process the settling of a legal case or claim through a system, he said.
During the Senate deliberation of the bill, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno emphasized the need for the passage of the FCP Act because as financial products and services continue to rise, so do the risks.
He said the measure will strengthen the oversight and enforcement powers of financial regulators to address current weaknesses of existing laws, rules and regulations.
“The act grants regulators with authority to determine the reasonableness of fees and charges, suspend erring employees, revoke license of erring financial institutions, and impose sanctions to ensure compliance with the intent of its provision,” Diokno said.
He added the FCP Act will reinforce the trust and confidence of the public in the financial system, and in the government’s ability to uphold consumer welfare. – Debbie Gasingan