Other Financial Accountability Study

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    The Impact of the World Bank on the Improvements of Consumer Protection in Financial Services and on Developing Financial Literacy in the Czech Republic and Slovakia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2010-07-24) Prouza, Tomáš
    This study analyzes the impact of work of the World Bank in the areas of consumer protection in financial services and in improving financial literacy in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, the first two countries where the World Bank provided technical assistance in the areas of consumer protection in financial services and financial literacy. The impulse of the Czech authorities was their understanding that consumer protection was lacking in the area of financial services while the offer and complexity of financial products was growing rapidly in the quickly developing post-communist market. The authorities were dealing with a growing number of complaints from the public as well as increasing media coverage of consumer complaints, while lacking adequate internal expertise to deal with these issues. The World Bank prepared the technical note on consumer protection in financial services for the Czech Republic. After the note was presented publicly at a dissemination seminar in the Czech Republic, authorities of the Slovak Republic requested similar assistance as they were dealing with similar issues. This study describes the impact the pioneering work of the World Bank team had on the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and how it assisted national authorities in improving consumer protection in financial services and developing programs to increase financial literacy of the Czech and Slovak populations.
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    Action Plan for Strengthening Financial Services Consumer Protection in Azerbaijan
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-12) Prouza, Tomáš ; Mundy, Shaun ; Izaguirre, Juan C.
    This Action Plan is based on the World Bank’s Technical Note on Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy in Azerbaijan published in June 2009. The Action Plan focuses on the Legal and Regulatory Issues of the Technical Note’s Key Findings and Recommendations, proposing specific actions for Azerbaijani authorities, financial institutions and consumer organizations so that consumer protection is strengthened and made more effective and efficient. The Action Plan should be the base upon which specific legal changes should be drafted and against which their implementation should be evaluated. Beside the Technical Note itself, the Action Plan draws on best international practices and experiences of regulators and supervisors that have tried to introduce improved consumer protection in their countries. It should also be noted that a well-balanced consumer protection regime serves also the interest of financial institutions as it provides them with better informed clients and also makes sure that clients understand their obligations under the contracts they signed. The Action Plan is divided into five parts that cover the key areas based on the recommendations of the Technical Note: (a) Legal Mandate, (b) Effective Supervision and Regulation, (c) Disclosure of Information, (d) Business Practices, and (e) Dispute Resolution.