Financial consumer protection is essential to financial stability and financial inclusion, especially given that Vietnam is witnessing the remarkable development of financial products and services, in terms of both quality and accessibility. This requires not only the good practices of financial services providers, enhanced consumer awareness but also the active involvement of authorities to formulate and issue practical and effective policies.
In light of this matter, the International Webinar on “Financial Consumer Protection – Practice and Policy Recommendations for Vietnam” was held by the DIV and VNU-UEB. The Webinar attracted over 120 participants, who are academics, policymakers, representatives of service providers, deposit insurers and domestic and foreign experts to share knowledge, experience and practical solutions regarding financial consumer protection in some countries and make recommendations for Vietnam.
Delivering an opening remarks, Ms. Phan Thi Thanh Binh, Deputy General Director of the DIV, stressed that an effective financial consumer protection framework is the basis for facilitating access to financial services, improving the quality of financial services, and further supporting the development of the financial system for the economy. However, in Vietnam, there are no specialized regulations on protecting financial consumers. The absence of an legal protection mechanism, the low level of financial literacy and inclusion and the lack of transparency regarding information on financial products and services result in various risks and challenges to financial consumer protection in Vietnam.
In her welcome remarks, Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Anh Thu, Vice Rector of VNU-UEB also highlighted the importance of financial consumer protection to the financial system’s stability and financial inclusion. It helps consumers to make well informed financial decisions and thus, maximize their benefits. Given the incomplete legal framework and the lack of coordination between relevant agencies in protecting financial consumers, Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Anh Thu expected the Webinar to serve as an informative forum for experts to share experience and suggest appropriate recommendations.
Within the International Webinar, the guest speakers addressed issues regarding: (i) Experience in building financial consumer protection laws, financial consumer protection in times of digital transformation; (ii) Challenges in implementing financial consumer protection regulations in the banking industry; (iii) The current situation of digital financial consumer protection in Vietnam and other countries; (iv) A bank’s practical experience in protecting clients’ finances. The Webinar ended with a Q&A session, where the guest speakers answered some questions from the participants and discussed their policy recommendations that are appropriate for financial consumer protection in Vietnam.
During the Webinar, many comments were made and enthusiastically discussed by the participants and speakers. In her concluding remarks, Dr. Dinh Thi Thanh Van, Acting Dean, Faculty of Finance and Banking, VNU-UEB, emphasized that the Webinar was a joint effort made by VNU-UEB and the DIV to create a forum for finance and banking experts and policymakers. She also hoped that there would be more programs in the future to protect financial consumers in Vietnam.