Nigeria: CBN Introduces Revised Consumer Protection Regulations

CBN Introduces Revised Consumer Protection Regulations
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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled an exposure draft on Revised Consumer Protection Regulations, signaling a proactive response to the dynamic landscape of the financial sector and the emerging challenges and risks faced by consumers.

Highlighting the need to safeguard consumer interests amidst rapid transformations in financial services, the apex bank emphasized the importance of revisiting the 2019 Consumer Protection Regulations. The revision aims to align with the evolving consumer protection practices, enhance consumer outcomes, and facilitate broader access to financial services.

In its official statement, the CBN stated: “Safeguarding the interests and ensuring greater protection of consumers in the evolving financial services landscape necessitated the review of the 2019 Consumer Protection Regulations.”

The issuance of the revised regulations is in line with the mandate conferred upon the CBN by the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, and the powers vested under Section 30 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA), 2020. The objective is to actualize the principles outlined in the Consumer Protection Framework, ensuring compliance among institutions licensed and/or regulated by the CBN.

Elaborating on the objectives, the CBN outlined key areas of focus aimed at fostering a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly financial environment. These include:

  1. Promoting Transparency and Disclosure: Ensuring accurate and timely provision of information to consumers, thereby empowering them with clear insights into financial products and services.
  2. Preventing Unethical Practices: Combating unethical and predatory practices that erode consumer confidence in financial offerings, thereby upholding the integrity of the financial system.
  3. Protecting Personal Information: Guaranteeing consumers’ control over their personal data and ensuring informed consent before its utilization for any other purposes.
  4. Enhancing Complaint Redress Mechanisms: Facilitating access to complaint resolution mechanisms that are fair, transparent, and independent, thereby instilling trust and accountability within the financial sector.
  5. Promoting Financial Literacy and Inclusion: Advocating for financial literacy initiatives and fostering inclusivity to ensure broader access to financial services across diverse consumer segments.

The revised regulations underscore the CBN’s commitment to fostering a robust and consumer-centric financial ecosystem, characterized by transparency, accountability, and equitable access to services. By promoting consumer protection, the CBN aims to bolster confidence in the financial sector while driving sustainable financial inclusion and economic growth.

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