01.Consumers around the world have more protection
The recent G20 meeting of world leaders in Cannes, France has led to stronger protection for consumers.
G20 leaders have endorsed some of the recommendations made by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and the OECD, which include incorporating consumer protection into regulation.
Learning history's financial lessons
The Global Financial Crisis took irresponsible risk taking with other people’s money to new heights – and cost many of us dearly. The colossal mistakes made by financial services providers with our hard-earned dollars were historical, and CHOICE has been involved in international efforts to make sure it doesn’t happen again. In the totality of its effects, the GFC may have been the biggest consumer swindle ever perpetrated by a single service provider.
Pivotal role of Consumers International
Consumers International, of which CHOICE is a leading member, has often been at the forefront of putting new safeguards in place, and boasts an impressive track record. In late 2010 the organisation called on the G20 leaders meeting in Seoul to make sure financial consumer protection is central any new post GFC-regimes in banking and credit. In late October this year, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) released a report showing that Consumer International’s recommendations have been taken on board by leaders in a position to bring about genuine change.
New global gatekeeper
A centrepiece of the report, which has been endorsed by the G20, is the
call for the development of a new international organisation with a
clear mandate and adequate resources to support financial consumer
protection in banking and credit, built on the International Financial Consumer Protection Network (FinCoNet).
The report also calls for the establishment of well-resourced and clearly accountable national institutions dedicated to financial consumer protection and new initiatives to help regulators define risky and unfair financial products. The mandate of such institutions would include tackling conflict of interest by requiring the disclosure of commission payments and potentially providing basic and low risk financial products.
CHOICE and Consumers International have both been protecting the interests – and the money – of consumers for over 50 years. The kinship between the two consumer organisations runs deep, with CHOICE fully supporting the efforts of Consumers International to put global protections in place to prevent the repeat of what has been an international catastrophe.
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