Wednesday, 19 February 2014

A tool for better relations between consumers and banks launched by CI

CI consumer protection expert Antonino Serra Cambaceres explains how a new project is aiming to improve banking for consumers.

On February 6, Buenos Aires provided the backdrop for the official launch of the Self Assessment Guide for Banks.

CI’s Latin American Office and Fundación Avina Argentina developed the guide - a tool for banks to evaluate themselves from a consumer perspective and assess how they are implementing their internal policies.

It is designed to help banks identify both policies that are working well and those that need changing, updating or a different approach.

During the launch at the headquarters of the Argentine Institute for Normalisation and Certification (IRAM), Juan Trímboli, CI Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, addressed the audience of consumer associations, banks, regulators and experts.

He highlighted the importance of financial services in CI’s work, and, in particular, in the Latin American Region since 2007.

Pablo Vagliente, National Representative of Avina Argentina, spoke about the work they are doing on ethical and responsible finances and the strong relationship that they have with CI in this field.

The launch marked the culmination of an 18-month partnership with Fundación Avina Argentina to develop the guide.

The next step will be to use it to influence financial institutions so that their policies meet consumers' needs, ensuring a respect for their rights and putting in place practices that are aligned with ethics and transparency in business conduct and financial education for consumers.

As we take forward our work on the guide, we will focus on promoting the tool with banks so that they can apply it and develop better relationships with consumers and the market.

The guide was developed with excellent support from an expert group including CI Members ADELCO and Unión de Consumidores de Argentina, IRAM and  Profaess - an NGO that works on ethical finances.

They helped us to develop a high-quality product with their knowledge and expertise. The development phase included interviews with: banks, banks’ associations, academics and financial experts; global research on benchmarking and best practice in banking and other related areas; and standards in management and policy.

The most important phase of the Banking Self Assessment Guide has begun - to have banks take the self assessment.

We hope that in a short time we will be able to report the first results of this interesting experience that will facilitate a better relationship between banks and consumers.

The guide is available on CI’s Spanish website. 

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