- Launches for the first time a dedicated channel to handle consumer issues
- Says move will help safeguard financial system stability and integrity
- Initial focus will be on financial consumer complaints and grievances on FSPs
- Department scope will be later expanded to cover diverse areas such as market conduct, education, empowerment, and unfair competition
Stakeholders of the national financial system will witness their grievances receive due emphasis hereafter as the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has taken a progressive step towards establishing a single point of contact to handle complaints.
With the launch of the ‘Financial Consumer Relations Department (FCRD)’, all external complaints and grievances are directed via a single channel to the CBSL on entities regulated by financial sector watchdog. It functions under the provisions of Section 33 of the Monetary Law Act No. 58 of
1949, as amended.
The department became operational on August 10.
“Addressing complaints and grievances of financial consumers is an objective of financial market regulation and long term financial system stability.
“With the increasing competition amongst Financial Service Providers (FSPs) in providing financial services, the need arises for a suitable mechanism to safeguard the interests of users of financial services and thereby to safeguard the stability and integrity of the financial system,” the CBSL said in a statement announcing the establishment of the new grievance handling arm.
According to the regulator, recent reports on financial consumer experience in the Sri Lankan financial markets show that even the most financially literate consumers have become victims to inappropriate market conduct by some FSPs regulated by CBSL as well as Informal Financial Service Providers (IFSPs).
The CBSL shared that the FCRD will initially focus on financial consumer complaints and grievances on FSPs regulated by CBSL.
At the later stage, the scope of the freshly formed department will be expanded to cover areas such as monitoring of market conduct, consumer empowerment, financial consumer education, and monitoring of unfair competition among the FSPs. The CBSL stressed that the ultimate goal of the initiative is to establish an independent authority to safeguard the rights of consumers and investors in the financial industry of Sri Lanka.