Representatives from all major financial institutions within the country converged at crown plaza this morning for the opening of a two day workshop/symposium hosted by the Bank of Papua New Guinea with the support from the Alliance for Financial Inclusion (AFI), The Papua New Guinea Federation of Savings and Loans Society Limited (FESALOS), and the Centre for Excellence in Financial Inclusion (CEFI).
Under the theme, Consumer Protection and Market Conduct Framework Workshop for the Papua New Guinea Financial Sector, the purpose of the two day workshop is to seek views and inputs from stakeholders and financial experts with discussions to formulate the best proactive consumer protection model for PNG in light of new development and the rapid growth in the financial system which have given rise to issues that needs to be addressed, which includes consumer protection for financial service consumers.
One very important issue which will be looked at is the rural individual who is not financially educated and how the majority of these in the rural areas can be targeted to put their monies and trust in the financial industry with the result in growing the economy.
Keynote speaker ICCC Commissioner Paulaus Ain stated that this was a first in PNG where consumers are target he said, “At the moment we have a consumer protection under the ICCC legislation which is more broad covering all consumer aspect of issues including financial institutions, what is being addressed at the workshop is and should be to establish a framework that deals specifically with the financial institutions which is a good way to start without duplicating what some of what ICCC is doing but specifically addressing in the consumers on the aspect of the financial side of it, so if this framework comes into place then most likely all consumer related issues on financial aspect should seek redress or the consent should be addressed from this framework that the central bank is trying to advocate for”.
The workshop will end on tomorrow and will see presentations from AFI, representatives from Bank Negara Malaysia BSP, ANZ, Westpac and Kina Bank with views from digital financial providers NMB and Digicel and will be closed by Governor of BPNG.