22:31 13.09.2017

NBU backs creation of financial ombudsman institution in Ukraine

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) backs the adoption of a bill envisaging the creation of the financial ombudsman institution for consumers of financial services, Deputy NBU Governor Kateryna Rozhkova has said.

"The National Bank supports the idea of introducing the institution of a financial ombudsman, which will make it easier for consumers of financial services to find a common language with financial institutions and resolve various conflict situations," she said at the international conference on the protection of the rights of consumers of financial services in Kyiv on Tuesday.

Expert of the USAID Financial Sector Transformation Project (FST) Tetiana Burak at the debut presentation of the document (the bill has not yet been registered in parliament) said that the new bill suggests creating a neutral and unbiased dispute resolution mechanism for consumers of financial services.

"According to the bill, the financial ombudsman is an independent public institution with the authority to promptly consider and resolve disputes between consumers and financial institutions. Unfortunately, at present, consumers of financial services, in the event of disputes, do not have any option to resolve these disputes, except how to apply to court, while only 10% of Ukrainians trust the judicial system," she said.

"The Ukrainian financial community requires this bill. Many bankers and representatives of the financial sector have already supported the idea of creating the financial ombudsman, because they know that a new fair system of dealing with consumer disputes will only contribute to the growth of the lending market," USAID FST Project Manager Robert Bond said.

Rozhkova also spoke in support of bill No. 2456-d on amending certain legislative acts of Ukraine on improving the protection of the rights of financial services consumers (passed at first reading) and bill No. 6027-d on amending certain legislative acts of Ukraine regarding the resumption of lending (ready for second reading).

"We all - banks, the National Bank, and, sure, consumers - are waiting for the bill, which is planned for second reading. With its adoption, the National Bank will have an opportunity to raise the financial literacy of banking services consumers. In addition, we will receive the right to develop disclosure standards for commercial banks with regard to the services provided, and these standards will be deeper, more substantial than we currently have. The combination of all these areas of work is sure to be fruitful: public confidence in financial services will be resumed," Rozhkova said.

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