Consumer International Campaigns
World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD) this time provides a great opportunity to highlight consumer concerns about financial services. To demand access to safe, fair and competitive markets in finance, Consumer International (CI) has decided that the theme for WCRD, 2011, will be ‘Consumers for Fair Financial Services’. Consumers have been getting a bad deal on financial services for too long and CI is calling for urgent and meaningful action from international decision-makers to improve consumers’ financial protection.
In 2010 also CI successfully campaigned on the theme, Our money, and our rights. The campaign called on the G20 leaders meeting, in November 2010, at the Seoul summit to set up an Experts Group to look into consumers financial concerns. The first victory was achieved here as an Action Plan was formed to examine the financial concerns, and to report back to the next G20 Summit in 2011.
Having achieved its first victory, CI wants to again rally round this vital cause. According to Joost Marten, Director General, Consumer International, "if a concerted effort is made by CI members to highlight consumer experiences and expectations regarding financial services, then FSB and national governments will understand that urgent action is needed to respond to consumers concerns regarding financial services."
Why financial consumer protection?
One of the causes of the global financial crisis of 2008-2009 was the uncontrolled growth and ensuing crash of the US subprime mortgage market. The weak financial consumer protection let a national problem spread globally because of the interdependence of most countries. According to CI members there is an ongoing crisis in financial consumer protection in a large number of problems for consumers around the world. Some of the problems being unfair contract terms and charges, and misleading advertisements.
A poor financial consumer protection can have international consequence on the individual consumer as well as the wider economy. Therefore it is vital to strengthen financial consumer protection so as to ensure global market stability.
CI interacts with the G20 because it brings together the leaders of major advanced and emerging economies which control a majority of the world’s financial markets. CI has been triumphant in its first dealings with G20, as an Action Plan was formed The first victory was achieved here as an Action Plan was formed asking for the Financial Stability Board (FSB) to examine the financial concerns, in collaboration with other international organisations, and to report back to the next G20 Summit in 2011.
Consumer VOICE Activities for
World Consumer Rights Day
Empowering Consumer through Mass Media
In India a VOICE program will go on air to mark the World Consumer Rights Day on 15th March 2011 to focus on a telecom consumer’s manifesto. Jointly organised by NCH (National Consumer Helpline) and Consumer Voice, this occasion will also Mark the sixth anniversary of NCH, which was launched on 15th of March 2005.