BoG issues consumer protection directives to address regulatory gaps
The Bank of Ghana (BoG) has issued consumer protection directives to address regulatory gaps, promote standardization in the resolution of complaints and respond to emerging practices in the industry.
The directives include Consumer Recourse Mechanism Guideline for Financial Service Providers, 2017; Disclosure and Product Transparency Rules for Credit Products and Services, 2017; Notice on Abolition of Unfair Fees, Charges and Other Practices in the Banking Sector, 2021; Notice on Sanctions for the Issuance of Dud Cheques, 2021; and Unclaimed Balances and Dormant Account Directive, 2021.
The development reaffirms the central bank’s commitment to helping the industry improve on customer service delivery and experience.
A statement issued by the central bank today said “the Bank of Ghana is committed to empowering consumers through financial literacy and sensitization programs, ensuring timely resolution of consumer complaints, providing a legal framework that adequately protects consumers, while helping the industry improve on customer service delivery and experience.”
It said the measures indicate the degree of focus on consumer rights and interests.
It said as part of its supervisory functions, the Bank promptly identifies systemic issues in product and service designs, channels, systems, and third-party arrangements and determines consumers’ level of satisfaction and appreciation of their rights in procuring products and services from Financial Service Providers.
It said as new products and services are introduced onto the market, the Bank ensures they fully address consumer interest and all disclosures are front-loaded.
“The Bank embarks on all-year-round financial literacy programme which targets the most vulnerable in society.
Additionally, the Bank organizes annual workshops for Consumer Reporting and Compliance Officers of banks to assess the root causes of all recurring complaints and proffer directives to mitigate recurrence,” the statement said.
The statement said “As we celebrate our customers, it is our fervent hope and expectation that regulated institutions will recognize consumer complaints as a measure of the adequacy of the redress structures, and an impetus for the improvement of our consumer protection measures.”