Publication: Country Studies Provide Powerful Lessons in Financial Consumer Protection
Until the financial crisis of 2007, the global economy was adding an estimated 150 million new consumers of financial services each year. Rates of increase have since slowed but the growth continues. Most new consumers are in developing countries where consumer protection and financial literacy are still in their infancy. This is particularly true in countries that have moved from central planning to market economies where protecting consumers is necessary to ensure stable and competitive financial markets and give new consumers confidence in the formal financial systems. The global financial crisis has highlighted the importance of consumer protection and financial literacy for the stability of the financial sector. In the US, the rapid growth of complex residential mortgage products, combined with securitized instruments which were sold to poorly informed parties, has caused much turmoil. Financial institutions worldwide have been obliged to write off trillions of dollars of assets. In Europe and Central Asia (ECA) too, damage to the financial sector was serious.
“Rutledge, Sue. 2010. Country Studies Provide Powerful Lessons in Financial Consumer Protection. Europe and Central Asia Knowledge Brief; Volume No. 26. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/entities/publication/ee40bc38-b427-5896-afed-59e146110d86 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”