Publication: Complaints Handling within Financial Service Providers: Principles, Practices, and Regulatory Approaches

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World Bank
Core to an effective financial consumer protection framework is an accessible and efficient recourse mechanism that allows consumers both to know and to assert their rights to have their complaints addressed and resolved in a transparent and just way within a reasonable timeframe. Complaints handling mechanisms are especially important for low-income and vulnerable financial consumers, to whom timely and effective recourse processes can have a decisive influence over their trust in their financial service provider (FSP) and in the financial sector in general. Increased trust contributes to consumers' uptake and sustained usage of financial services and, consequently, their economic livelihoods. Financial consumer complaints handling mechanisms comprise two stages: complaints that are handled by FSPs, generally referred to as internal dispute resolution (IDR); and complaints that, if not satisfactorily resolved, are handled by an alternative, out-of-court process, generally referred to as external dispute resolution (EDR). There are several international sources of principles applicable to complaints handling and resolution processes and procedures to be established by FSPs. Drawing from the World Bank's Good Practices for Financial Consumer Protection, the work of international bodies, such as the Group of Twenty (G20)/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Task Force on Financial Consumer Protection, as well as selected country experiences this Technical Note highlights considerations that aim to provide a methodological guidance for regulators and FSPs when developing and implementing IDR frameworks to ensure they are consistent with international good practices. This Technical Note synthesizes concepts, principles, and practices for IDR mechanisms for financial consumers and shares examples of legal and regulatory requirements for FSPs to resolve complaints and to ensure that complaints- related data is collected, analyzed, and shared as appropriate to support improvements in FSP performance, industry market conduct, and market conduct regulation.
World Bank. 2019. Complaints Handling within Financial Service Providers: Principles, Practices, and Regulatory Approaches. © World Bank, Washington, DC. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.
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