BSP Gives Consumer Protection More Teeth

Manila Bulletin, September 9, 2019 | Go to article overview

BSP Gives Consumer Protection More Teeth


By Lee C. Chipongian

The central bank has tightened its rules and regulations on financial consumers protection with emphasis on standards of conduct and compliance with existing laws that look out for consumers' rights.

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) Circular No. 1048, which revised and deleted some of its existing consumer protection framework set in 2014, directed banks to improve its consumer protection oversight with consumer protection risk management system (CPRMS) and the consumer assistance mechanism (CAM) within six months of the circular effectivity.

The circular, signed by BSP Governor Benjamin E. Diokno, said the BSP expects banks to do the following: perform a gap analysis of their current consumer protection practices; and to propose an action plan for its full compliance within a reasonable period of time but in no case longer than one year from the time of the circular implementation. Diokno said in the circular memo, that with the amended consumer protection framework, they would have ensured that financial service providers would "conduct ethical business practices and do not engage in practices that may cause harm to the consumer as well as consider consumer outcomes in the conduct of their business."

"Practices that harm consumers introduce risks not only at the level of the financial institution but also to the overall health of the financial sector particularly through decreased public trust and confidence. A well- informed and protected consumer can better benefit from the financial services received and be a more responsible client," Diokno noted in the circular.

The amended framework is an institutionalized consumer protection policy and an "integral component of corporate governance and culture as well as risk management. …

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