Do you know our rights as a consumer of financial products?

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By Tkay Nthebe

How well do you know your rights as consumers of financial products? What do you do if you feel like those rights are not being respected?

In a recent post on my social media platforms (Facebook and Twitter @tkay_nthebe) titled “Which financial services provider has the most reliable digital platforms”, I’ve come to realise that a large number of Basotho are not fully aware of their rights and responsibilities as consumers of financial products. A lot of comments in the post highlighted the gaps on consumers’ rights, responsibilities and the process to follow when lodging a complaint when the relationship goes sour.  In this article, I will focus on bridging this gap.

Being consumers of financial products, you have a right to be treated fairly, provided with correct and honest advice that takes our circumstances into account. These financial products must not only perform as promised but all information (fees, benefits, inherent risks etc.) must be disclosed and delivered with good service. Furthermore, financial services providers (FSP) which include banks, insurance companies, and micro finance institutions must also provide value adding relationships for their consumers.

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In the event that you are dissatisfied or not unhappy with the FSP, its product or service, you have a right to lodge a complaint or submit a claim with the FSP in question. In the section below, I provide a detailed process by referring to the Treat customers fairly framework

The Financial Consumers Protection unit is a department within the CBL that is responsible for protecting consumers of financial products against unfair, abusive and deceptive conduct by FSPs. Let’s break the silence on bad service and conduct by FSPs, follow the correct complaint procedures and educate ourselves on our rights. In the next article I will focus on our responsibilities as consumers of financial products. Till then, wishing you safe Easter holidays. Likhomo!

Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author.