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IFC, PNG Central Bank Move to Protect Consumers from Unfair Financial Practices

Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, February 11, 2019:   The Bank of Papua New Guinea (BPNG) with support from IFC, the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, has been begun consultations on the fair and equitable treatment of consumers who take out loans and other financial services.
The move follows a review by BPNG and IFC into financial services available to people in Papua New Guinea (PNG) including financial consumer protection laws, financial service institutions and practices in PNG. The review found there were a range of issues with financial products including a lack of transparency of information on rates, fees, terms and conditions, with significant gaps in financial consumer protection as compared to international best practices and recommended the development of a financial consumer protection regulatory framework for PNG.  
“The aim is to ensure consumers are not only treated fairly, but also that loans and other products are transparent, promoted responsibly, and that data is protected as well as to provide a means for consumers to have a mechanism to seek recourse,” said Governor Loi Bakani CMG from BPNG.
“We need Papua New Guineans to have access to reputable and affordable credit, so they can borrow money to create opportunity and jobs. The aim is to not only help the consumers, but also build trust and competition in the formal financial sector, to help us achieve our financial inclusion goals,” he said.
The work supports one of the key pillars of the government of PNG’s recently launched Financial Sector Development Strategy and the National Financial Inclusion Policy.  A series of regulations have now been drafted for public consultation on establishing the framework for the fair and equitable treatment of consumers of financial products and services. Consultative meetings were held in Kokopo, Lae and Port Moresby.
It’s estimated only about 37 percent of adults in PNG have an account with a formal financial institution. The numbers are even lower among low income earners with only an estimated 15 percent of people with an account.
“The review highlights the opportunities for consumer to have access to more affordable credit, and better understand the costs of borrowing. The end result will improve trust in the system and help promote financial inclusion,” says IFC’s Resident Representative in PNG, John Vivian.
A draft Financial Consumer Protection Regulation is available for consultation and comments here .
The full review into financial consumer protection laws, institutions and practices is available here.
About the PNG Partnership
IFC’s work in Papua New Guinea is guided by the PNG Partnership. Australia, New Zealand and IFC are working together through the Partnership to stimulate private sector investment and reduce poverty in Papua New Guinea.
About IFC
IFC—a sister organization of the World Bank and member of the World Bank Group—is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. We work with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, using our capital, expertise, and influence to create markets and opportunities in the toughest areas of the world. In fiscal year 2018, we delivered more than $23 billion in long-term financing for developing countries, leveraging the power of the private sector to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit .
About BPNG
BPNG aims to serve the people of Papua New Guinea by conducting effective monetary policy and maintaining a sound financial system. BPNG acts at all times to promote macro-economic stability, provide a first-class payments system, issue the national currency and help foster economic growth of our country.
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