Government drafts voluntary code of conduct for financial services industry

- Monday, April 25, 2011

Government drafts voluntary code of conduct for financial services industry

Jamaica's government has unveiled a draft version of a voluntary code of conduct for banks and other financial institutions, with the aim of setting standards for good consumer practices and of fostering greater transparency, government information service JIS reported.

Karl Samuda, Jamaican minister of industry, investment and commerce, said the code's purpose was also to assess efficiency levels of the country's banks in their relationship with consumers.

"Instead of devising methods by which we seek to bash the banks over their heads, the idea here is to work with a collaborative approach, where we will support the banks in their efforts to improve the relationship with their customers," Samuda said.

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Among the clauses established in the code are that all consumers should have equal right of access to services, providing that they meet the entity's requirements; that banks should display service standards at their branches and on their websites; and that consumers have the right to review terms and conditions in detail before engaging in any service provided by banks.

The draft, prepared by the Consumer Affairs Commission and the National Consumers League, has been put forward for consideration by banks and other financial institutions, the report reads.