By Ishmael Dumbuya
The Bank of Sierra Leone has yesterday, 15th February,launched the Financial Consumer Protection Guidelines at the Radisson BLU Mammy Yoko Hotel.
The guidelines are meant to categorically spell out the rights, responsibilities and roles of consumers in the banking sector.
In his keynote address, the Governor, Bank of Sierra Leone, Professor Kelfala Kallon stated that consumer protection makes markets work for both businessesandconsumers.
“Consumers need to be able to obtain accurate and unbiased information about the services they provide. This enables them to make the best choices based on their interests and prevents them from being mistreated or misled by businesses,” he said.
The governor went on to state that consumer banking is fundamental to the balanceanddiversification of businesses, noting that the ‘Banking Consumer Protection Principles apply to the activities of banks operating by way of a license and dealing with persons who are, or may become consumers.
“It also applies to the activities of any third party engaged by the banks for outsourced activity.”
The governor climaxed by appreciating and thanking his staff and other partners for drawing up the banking guidelines as it will serve as a spring board for banking activities and financial consumer protection precedents.
The Chief Executive Officer, Priority Solutions Ltd, Sebastian Okutu, in his good-will message, commended everyone that was involved in drafting up banking principles and guidelines.
He said it was very much pertinent for consumers to be educated on their rights and responsibilities regarding the banking operations and transactions.
In his closing remarks, the deputy governor, BSL, Sheikh A.Y. Sesay, thanked everyone for attending the launch.
He continued that their mandate as a national bank is to educate and raise awareness on the rights of consumers. He added that contained in the guidelines are a lot of consumer benefits, such as, loan collection etc.