Consumer complaints against players in the financial sector are on the rise, according to figures from the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM).
When the central bank started taking the complaints in 2013, only 13 were reported that year, but the figure has risen to 500 this year, according to RBM.
Speaking on the sidelines of the financial literacy meeting RBM jointly organised with the Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) for players in the financial sector, the central bank’s chief examiner for protection and financial literacy, Madalitso Chamba, said the increase shows that Malawians are becoming aware if their rights.
“As RBM, we want to promote fair competition in the financial sector, and by working hand-in-hand with CFTC, consumers will be protected. Initially, people did not know that they could complain, but now following massive campaigns more and more people know their financial rights,” she said.
Chamba said financial literacy surgeries for the financial sector are important because financial sector players will now know that it is important to give all information to a customer before they get any loan or sign contracts.
CFTC director of consumer welfare and education Lewis Kulisewa said it is important for financial institutions to understand that there is a law on the need to provide information to consumers.
“Most of the times when consumers are buying products from financial institutions, they do not read rules and regulations or sometimes they are not given the information in full as a result it breeds mistrust,” he said. n