In furtherance of the Financial Inclusion drive of the Apex bank and the need to promote a stable financial system and among other things engender public confidence in the financial system. The CBN has issues the CBN Consumer Protection Framework (CPF). The CPF is expected to guarantee high standard for efficient customer service delivery, market discipline and ensure that consumers are treated fairly by the financial institutions.
Objectives of CPF
The main objective of the Framework is to enhance consumer confidence in the financial services industry and promote financial stability, growth and innovation. Other objectives are to:
a. Protect consumers’ assets.
b. Ensure timely complaints handling and dispute resolution;
c. Ensures that financial services operators put in place effective consumer risk management framework;
d. Empower consumers to make informed decisions;
e. Promote professionalism and ethics; and
f. Outline the rights and responsibilities of consumers.
Your Rights.- CBN Consumer Protection Framework
As a customer of a bank or other financial institutions under the supervision of the CBN, your rights which forms part of the bedrock of your relationship with your bank are well spelt out in the CPF. These rights which are meant to enhance confidence in the financial system shall be protected by all stakeholders. Including your bank, Consumer Protection Council and the CBN.
These rights includes:
1. Right to be informed– your bank shall provide accurate and timely information on products and services to enable you make informed decisions.
2. Right to consumer education – you shall be provided with knowledge needed to make informed and confident financial decisions to enhance your economic well-being.
3. Right to choose– you shall have the liberty to choose from a variety of products and services on offer at competitive rates without restrictions or compromising quality. This right extends to opting out when services are no longer satisfactory provided outstanding commitments are settled.
4. Right to safety– your financial institutions shall provide a safe and conducive banking environment, channels and platforms.
5. Right to confidentiality– your information must be protected from unauthorized access and disclosure.
6. Right to redress– you shall have access to an efficient redress mechanism for settlement of claims or disputes.
7. Right to be treated fairly– you shall be treated fairly regardless of any complaint and dispute already existing between you and your financial institution, your financial knowledge or status, physical ability, age, gender, tribe or religion. However, subscription to certain products and services may offer consumers special benefits.
Your Responsibilities – CBN Consumer Protection Framework
While the objective of the framework is to ensure that financial institutions act in your best interest, you are also expected to carry out certain responsibilities. Your responsibilities as a customer of a financial institution as outlined below:
1. Duty of Knowledge and Understanding
The ability to make informed financial decisions that will be of benefit to you is dependent on the depth of financial information you have acquired over time. Therefore, it is important that you acquire requisite financial knowledge that will help you manage personal finances. Your responsibilities includes:
a. Self-education about consumer rights and responsibilities as well as other financial matters.
b. Endeavor to obtain accurate information from credible sources and make comparison before subscribing to financial products and services.
c. Seek clarification where necessary regarding financial products and services to ensure proper understanding of associated risks, contractual terms and conditions etc.
d. Negotiate beneficial terms to ensure that financial products and services suit your need.
2. Duty to meet or honor Financial Obligations
As a customer of financial institution under the supervision of the Apex bank. You are expected to fulfill all contractual financial obligations to your bank as and when due. You are expected to notify your financial institutions of challenges that may constrain your ability to meet your contractual obligations as and when due.
3. Duty to Protect Financial Instruments and Information.
It is the duty of bank customers to ensure that their personal information such as account numbers, Personal Identification Number (PIN), Bank Verification Number (BVN), access codes, financial instruments including cheques, payment cards are protected. Furthermore all records of financial transactions such as card receipts, account statements and transaction statements must be safeguarded, disposed or transmitted securely to avoid unauthorized access.
4. Duty to Provide Accurate and Up-to-date Information
Banks customers shall provide accurate and up-to-date information to the financial institution and also gives clear mandate to financial institutions and report any change to such orders in a timely manner.
5. Duty to Report Unethical Practices, Fraud and Error.
a. Consumers shall obtain and review evidence of financial dealings with financial institutions including periodic statement of accounts to enable them make observations known to the Financial Institutions as and when due.
b. Consumers shall take immediate steps to notify Financial Institutions of observed compromise to personal information.
c. Consumers shall lodge complaints promptly and honestly through established redress platforms.
d. Consumers shall report cases of misconduct and malpractices by bank employee to the financial institutions and then to the regulator if dissatisfied with resolution by a financial institution.
e. Consumers shall report observed cases of sharp or unethical practices such as fraud, illegitimate charges and changes to interest rates (which the consumer is not notified of) by financial institutions to the CBN.
f. Consumers may make themselves heard individually or collectively through organized groups.
g. Consumers shall carry out due diligence to ensure that they deal with only licensed financial institutions.
CBN Consumer Protection Framework
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