Other Financial Accountability Study

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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.
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    Russian Federation Diagnostic Review of Consumer Protection in Financial Services: Comparison against Good Practices
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2009-07) World Bank
    Over the last decade, consumer credit in the Russian Federation has expanded from almost nothing to 9.2 percent of GDP in 2008, at 84 percent average annual growth in 2003-2008 year for five years. Yet, the increases have been uneven throughout the Russian population: more than 40 percent are still financially excluded and only 16 percent have bank accounts. A 2008 survey found that Russian consumers had low levels of financial literacy and lacked awareness of their rights as financial consumers. Three-quarters of the survey's respondents said they would like to receive financial education in order to protect themselves financially and plan for the future. Similar trends of the booming credit markets amid significant gaps in financial literacy around the world have contributed to the global financial crisis of 2008 and emphasized the importance of consumer protection and financial education programs for the long-term health of the financial sector. Responding to a request from Russian authorities, the World Bank conducted a diagnostic review to help Russia design an effective consumer protection and financial literacy framework. This review, presented in two volumes, outlines the key findings and recommendations in Volume I, and analyzes the existing rules and practices in Russia, in comparison with international good practices – in Volume II. Banking, non-bank credit, securities, insurance, private pensions, and credit reporting segments are covered.