RegSol Blog

Consumer Protection Outlook Report 2020

May 2020

The Central Bank's Consumer Protection Outlook Report 2020 was published on 9 March 2020. This report sets out the key risks to consumers of financial services. It also sets out the Central Bank's expectations of what  should  be done to minimise these risks. The report also details the Central Bank’s own consumer protection priorities for the year ahead. Key risks highlighted include the following: 

Other Key takeaways include:
  • In 2019, the Central Bank oversaw the return of €74m to consumers arising from errors notified under the Consumer Protection Code
  • Some recurring issues reported by consumers on social media include issues around dissatisfaction with customer service levels, particularly call waiting times on helplines and in-branch queues and a perception that new customers received preferential treatment; IT outages and the inability to access online services; scam and ‘phishing’ text messages advising that accounts had been suspended.
  • Enhance the authorisation process: Challenge firms seeking to relocate from the UK on the credibility of the substance of their proposal in areas such as staffing and decision-making.
  • Culture: CBI expects sustained improvement in culture by focusing on values and conduct that are the building blocks of culture. ‘Desired’ values of firms and their conduct to be reflected in the daily habits and practices of their employees and management, ensuring for example that performance reviews are not based on metrics based on financial performance only.
  • Disclosure: The failure to give clear information to consumers about the benefits, risks and costs of financial products affects a consumer’s ability to make informed decisions. The risk increases when the product is complex or when there are many similar types of product on the market, such as in the case of health insurance. Firms should consider how they can improve communications, sales and marketing material to enable consumers to buy the products and services that they need. 
  • Brexit: The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020 after reaching a withdrawal agreement that includes a transition period until the end of the year. The transition period allows further time for financial service providers and consumers to prepare for Brexit. While the full implications remain unclear, Brexit remains a key risk to firms and their customers. The main risk for Irish consumers relates to the likely loss of UK financial service providers’ right to provide services cross-border into Ireland.
For the full report click HERE

By Judy de Castro - Regulatory Consultant