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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2012-06) World BankThis 2012 microcredit sector diagnostic review complements the 2011 review of the Banking sector and analyses the following five areas of consumer protection in microcredit: i) existing institutional arrangements, ii) consumer disclosure; iii) business practices; iv) dispute resolution mechanisms; v) and financial education programs. Bosnia and Herzegovina was the largest microfinance market in Europe and Central Asia until the 2008 global crisis prompted a rapid reversal. Authorities identified consumer protection in microfinance as high priority and introduced new regulatory provisions to stabilize the sector. This review analyzes the existing consumer protection framework and offers recommendations for further improvements. The Institutional Arrangements section covers the agencies responsible for implementing consumer protection, as well as industry and consumer associations. The section on Consumer Disclosure focuses on standard formats for price and product comparison, disclosure provisions, and basic rights of consumers. The Business Practices section covers unfair or abusive practices, standard consumer contract provisions, and industry Code of Conduct. The section on Dispute Resolution focuses on internal complaints mechanisms in financial institutions and out-of-court mechanisms. The section on Financial Education focuses on measures aimed at increasing consumer financial literacy and awareness.
Bosnia and Herzegovina Diagnostic Review of Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy in Banking Services: Volume 1. Key Findings and Recommendations(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2011-04) World BankThis diagnostic study exclusively covers consumer protection and financial literacy issues in the banking sector of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Household credit in BiH more than tripled in volume in 2003-2008, and in terms of GDP it expanded from 13 to 26 percent. Foreign currency loans represented 10 percent of GDP. Official statistics showed growth in the percentage of non-performing loans since 2007. To strengthen consumer protection in the banking sector in BiH, this review recommends measures in five key areas: legislative and institutional reform, consumer disclosure, business practices of banks, dispute resolution mechanisms, and financial education. The main tasks of this study have been: (1) to review the existing rules and practices in BiH compared to international good practices; (2) to provide recommendations on ways to improve consumer protection and financial capability; and (3) to refine a set of good practices prepared by the World Bank for assessing consumer protection in banking services, including financial capability. The Review is presented in two volumes: Volume I describes BiH Government policy for banking consumer protection, provides the banking sector statistics, and sets out the key findings and recommendations of the Review. Volume II provides an assessment of the BiH consumer protection institutional and legal framework and practices against the benchmark of Good Practices for the banking sector.