Framework Policy of the Ministry of Finance CR on Consumer Protection in the Financial Market
The Ministry of Finance presents the Framework Policy on Consumer Protection in the Financial Market setting out objectives, areas and principles of its activities in consumer protection.
The general objective of consumer protection in the financial market is to achieve the state where the consumers make responsible and appropriate decisions in the financial market with regard to their current situation.
This objective can be achieved through actions in three areas representing the pillars of consumer protection in financial market.
- The first one is the Information awareness, i. e., ensuring adequate information.
- The second is the Ability to work with information, i. e. an adequate level of financial literacy (capability).
- And the last one is the Capability of the consumers to promote and protect their interests and rights.
Standards of expertise for distributors of products in the financial market
In December 2007, the Ministry of Finance (MF) issued the “Standards of Expertise for Distributors of Products in the Financial Market” for public consultation. The consultation material was the first step in implementing one of the objectives stipulated in the Framework Policy of the Ministry of Finance on Consumer Protection in the Financial Market, which is ensuring that the distributors of financial products have a certain level of knowledge and skills.
According to an analysis performed by the MF, the requirements on the expertise of the distributors contained in current legislation are markedly unbalanced. The MF considers this as problematic and plans to focus its next steps on making the conditions equal across the financial market. The objective is to find a solution that will ensure comparable conditions in terms of consumer awareness and protection in the entire market.
Financial education represents an important component of the consumer protection in the financial market. The MOF established the Working Group for Financial Education, coordinated the creation of the Financial Education Strategy and the Financial Education System for Primary and Secondary Schools and initiated the Public Opinion Poll on Financial Education.
Consumer Protection and the EU
Financial Education - EU
On Dec 18 2007, the Commission adopted a Communication on Financial Education. This Communication underlines the Commission's support for the provision of financial education delivered as close as possible to the citizens that need it, namely through Member State, national and regional authorities, non-governmental agencies and the financial services sector.
It sets out the economic, societal and personal benefits of increased financial literacy and gives an overview of the provision of financial education in the EU. The Communication presents some basic principles to guide providers of financial education, based on existing best practices.
Retail Financial Services - EU
The Green Paper on Retail Financial Services in the Single Market sets out the vision of the European Commission for future EU policy on retail financial services, which are financial products such as bank accounts, loans, mortgages, investments and insurance provided to individual consumers. The Green Paper aims to strengthen and deepen the Commission's understanding of the problems faced by consumers and industry in this area, to set out the Commission's overarching objectives and to highlight areas where more work may be needed.
Mortgage Credit - EU
On 18 December 2007 the European Commission published The White Paper on the Integration of EU Mortgage Credit Markets. It summarises the conclusions of a comprehensive review of European residential mortgage markets and presents a balanced 'package' of measures to improve the efficiency and the competitiveness of these markets, to the benefit of consumers, mortgage lenders and investors alike. This is to be achieved in particular through improvement in the areas of cross-border supply, product diversity, consumer empowerment and customer mobility.