THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday said it received more than 40,000 complaints on financial transactions from 2020 to 2021.


Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas Governor Benjamin Diokno FILE PHOTO

In his opening statement at the Senate deliberation on the proposed Financial Consumer Protection (FCP) Act, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said a total of 42,456 complaints were elevated to the BSP Consumer Assistance Mechanism for 2020 and 2021.

He said some of these complaints include unauthorized fund transfers and increased amortization on loan accounts.

“Declared amounts in the complaints received in 2021 alone add up to about 540 million pesos; from 2019 to 2021, the cumulative total amounted to two billion pesos,” said Diokno.

In his speech, he cited the importance of the passage of the FCP, which he said, will help resolve these cases quickly.

“These cases could be resolved quickly once the FCP Act is in place. This Act will empower financial regulators such as BSP, the Insurance Commission, the SEC, and the Cooperative Development Authority to expedite the adjudication of reasonable monetary claims more efficiently, fairly and openly, all to the benefit of the consumers,” he said.

Diokno said the enactment of FCP will provide protection to all financial consumers.

He said the proposed FCP Act covers the full range of financial products and services offered by the banking, insurance, payments and fintech industries.

The Act also aims to grant regulators with authority to determine the reasonability of fees and charges; suspend erring employees; revoke licenses of erring financial institutions; impose sanctions to ensure compliance; and provides financial consumers with new, immediate, and efficient avenues for redress by granting financial regulators with adjudicatory authority to conduct hearings on consumer complaints.

He said the FCP Act also allows consumer complaints to be escalated and resolved at the level of the financial regulators, ensuring quick resolutions, hence reduce congestion in court dockets.

“The passage of this Act will enable financial regulators to sanction business practices and entities that pose grave and irreparable injury to financial consumers. It will deter frauds and scams, and ensure that every Juan and Maria are provided with positive customer experiences,” said Diokno.

“Without doubt, if properly and swiftly implemented, this Act will reinforce the trust and confidence of the public in the financial system, and in the government’s ability to uphold consumer welfare,” he added.