In recent years, financial consumer protection has become an increasing priority for policy makers around the world, including World Bank Group client countries. Protecting consumers from abusive practices and enabling them to make well-informed decisions regarding the use of financial products and services is an important policy goal in and of itself, but also has implications for the healthy development of the financial sector, financial inclusion, and broader economic growth. It is a cross-cutting topic with relevance across all types of financial service providers and financial products and services.
Financial consumer protection is also a rapidly evolving area. Since the 2012 edition of the Good Practices for Financial Consumer Protection, international guidance on policy approaches to protect consumers of financial services has substantially increased. Policy makers in both developed and developing countries have established new techniques to address topics such as effective disclosure of key terms and conditions and appropriate sales practices. They have as well developed new supervisory tools adapted to assessing the market behavior of financial service providers. New issues have also emerged, such as with respect to digital financial services and their implications for consumer protection.
The 2017 Good Practices for Financial Consumer Protection thoroughly updates and expands upon the 2012 edition. It is designed to complement existing tools and to serve as a comprehensive reference and assessment tool to assist policy makers, its primary audience. The report consolidates good practices from international guidance and country examples, accompanying them with practical information on policy considerations for implementation.