Muscat: The Central Bank of Oman (CBO) issued the Financial Consumer Protection Regulatory Framework for licensed banks, as well as finance and leasing companies in the Sultanate of Oman.
This framework was designed in line with CBO’s comprehensive strategy to protect customers and contribute to economic growth and financial inclusion.
The framework aims to ensure consumer access to financial services and build consumer confidence in the sector, thus creating healthy competitive financial markets and adopting the best international practices to protect the financial consumers.
The framework ensures fair delivery of financial products and services to consumers, as well as curbing poor business conduct and ineffective dispute resolution mechanisms. The ultimate goal is to increase and maintain consumer confidence and trust in the financial system, which in turn is necessary for healthy economic growth.
The Financial Consumer Protection Regulatory Framework includes five principles.
The first principle is disclosure and transparency and it covers requirements for the format and manner of disclosure, advertising and sales materials, the disclosure of terms and conditions, product risk, conflicts of interest, key fact statements, contract notes, statements, and notification of changes in rates, terms, and conditions.
The second principle is the fair treatment and business conduct and it covers unfair terms and conditions, unfair practices, sales practices, product suitability and appropriateness and responsible financing.
The third principle is data protection and privacy and it covers lawful collection and usage of customer data, confidentiality and security of customers’ information and sharing of customer information, organisational arrangements and reporting requirements.
The fourth principle is dispute resolution mechanisms and it covers the internal complaints handling mechanism.
The fifth principle is financial education and financial capability and it covers requirements for strengthening customer awareness, financial education, and financial capability.