Consumer Protection

Consumer protection refers to rules and regulations designed to safeguard customers when they are dealing with financial service providers and to inspire confidence in these institutions. The implementation of consumer protection rules and practices is just beginning in many countries, although consumer protection has gained more prominence in recent years with the global financial crisis and concerns about over-indebtedness.

Transparency, fair treatment, and effective recourse are especially relevant for low-income consumers when it comes to consumer protection. Clients must be able to understand the implications of commitments they make; information must be presented clearly and simply; and there must be a satisfactory method in place for resolving conflicts or disputes.

Implementing consumer protection practices may take time and is likely to evolve as new risks are identified, consumer behavior is better understood, and effective regulatory design is implemented.

Women selling fruit at the market. Photo by Hiu Huenh, 2013 CGAP Photo Contest.