Zim marks consumer rights day

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Industry and Commerce Minister, Welshman Ncube says providers of financial services need to be transparent in activities that involve consumer funds.

Speaking at the Consumer World Rights Day symposium last week, Ncube said weak financial protection was a problem in countries with well-established financial services as well as consumers in countries where the sector is relatively new.

This year’s day was celebrated under the theme, “Consumers for Fair Financial Services”.

“Consumers of today are precocious, they know what they want and at what price. They may toe the line not because they are ignorant but because they have weighed their chances carefully and have decided that there is no alternative,” said Ncube.

“This theme is a global campaign to increase consumers’ access to stable, fair and competitive financial markets.”

Ncube said financial institutions should instill trust in their clients adding that consumers were requesting for fair treatment regarding the respect of their fundamental rights.

He said it was important that consumers receive sufficient, reliable and timely information about financial services.

“Many financial service products are now so complex that consumers, regulators and even the financial service providers themselves cannot understand them,” said Ncube.

“Regulators should introduce a requirement of product clarity and prohibit products that are prone to different interpretations.”