Senate approves financial consumer protection bill

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MANILA, Philippines – The Senate on Wednesday approved in its third and final reading a bill aimed at strengthening the protection of financial consumers against the increase in cybercrime.

By voting 19-0-0, senators passed Senate Bill 2488 or the Financial Consumer Protection Bill, the passage of which was certified urgent by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The measure seeks to strengthen and strengthen the rights of Filipino financial consumers to “fair and just treatment, disclosure and transparency of financial products and services, protection of consumer assets from easy use and misuse, privacy and data protection, and the timely handling and redress of complaints. »

“We hope this bill gives consumers peace of mind that their hard-earned money will not be lost or taken away without any explanation or accountability,” said Poe, who chairs the Senate Banking Committee and sponsor of the bill. law.

READ: Senate financial consumer protection bill up for debate in plenum

Earlier, the Bangko Sentral of the Philippines (BSP) reported a total of 42,456 complaints from 2020 to 2021, which amounted to around P540 million last year alone.

The BSP also cited account takeover or identity theft, phishing, and social engineering schemes, including cardless fraud, as the top three cybercrimes in 2020.

Poe stressed the importance of building trust between consumers and financial institutions to achieve BSP’s goal of having at least 70% of Filipinos with bank accounts by 2023.

“Let’s not waste the newfound confidence of people who switched to online banking during the pandemic. The biggest goal is financial inclusion for every Filipino,” she added.

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