Ministry for Finance evaluating structures to ensure consumer protection when buying financial products


“The Ministry for Finance will be undertaking studies to determine the appropriate structures to safeguard consumers rights when it comes to the buying of financial products,” said Finance Minister Prof. Edward Scicluna.

Prof. Scicluna was speaking during the opening address of KPMG’s biennial Financial Services Conference, where he spoke at length regarding the need to have the necessary structures in place to safeguard financial services consumers.

During his address, Prof. Scicluna stressed that discussions are currently underway between the authorities and the regulators to improve conduct of business structures and market practices in the financial sector.

 

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“Among the more immediate is a gap analysis which my Ministry will soon be undertaking in order to set up the appropriate structures to ensure consumers are given a fair deal when it comes to buying financial products,” Prof. Scicluna said. “The results would be then discussed with the stakeholders with a view to securing confidence in our financial system and sustaining our hard-earned reputation in the longer term.”

Prof. Scicluna also spoke of the Government’s plans for the future, underlining that Government’s innovation drive must focus on new frameworks that facilitate the development of specialised financial products aimed at attracting and channelling capital into sustainable economic activity in the most efficient manner, and at the least possible risk.

“Government policies will therefore continue to support innovation in the sector based on carefully thought out strategies that build on the diversity of our financial services sector,” Prof. Scicluna said.

He added that the Government will work with the MFSA at the micro level and with the Central Bank at the macro level to bring these strategies to fruition by developing the appropriate frameworks based on regulation that is proportionate to the objectives they set out to achieve, while maintaining financial stability.

He also stressed that Economic Policy, especially in the area of Public Finance, will continue building a solid and long lasting framework of good fiscal governance, and a multi-annual framework where public expenditure will be under constant control, and deficits and debts will take a planned declining trajectory.

At the same time, Prof. Scicluna noted, we must all aspire to the highest levels of corporate governance and ethical conduct across all sectors our economy, thereby earning the trust of investors.

“Governance must therefore become a central plank of the development policy agenda of the country and more than anything else will hold the key to future economic success and corresponding growth in our financial services sector.”
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– Tuesday, 26th November, 2013

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