MFSA announces publication of its Consumer Complaints Unit annual report for 2010
MAY 16, 2011

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has published the Consumer Complaints Unit Annual Report for 2010.

In his forward statement to the report, Professor Joe Bannister, MFSA chairman, remarks that although the Authority has contributed substantially towards increasing consumer awareness about financial services, it is very much aware that consumer education in this field has to be improved especially because of information asymmetry and misconceptions about consumers’ rights and obligations. Prof Bannister states that the Consumer Complaints Unit is obliged to deal with all complaints expeditiously without prejudicing the other parties’ rights to a fair and due process.

The Consumer Affairs Unit is empowered by law to investigate complaints from private individuals relating to any financial services transaction in a fair and impartial manner. The Unit is also responsible for providing consumer education and information about financial services and to answer queries from the public on financial services matters in general.

During the year, the Unit received 172 formal complaints and 188 verbal complaints. A total of 149 cases were reviewed and concluded, which include a number of cases received in 2009. The Unit responded to over 600 queries from the general public on general financial services matters.

The Unit has been very active in the broadcasting media which is considered to be an important platform through which consumers are educated on various matters relating to financial services.

The consumer portal “MyMoneyBox” has proved to be a key  website providing impartial information to consumers about financial products and services. Statistically, the most accessed section of the portal is the on line database of tariffs and charges levied on a number of financial products and services. The Unit will in the near future be widening the scope of the online database by including comparative features of available specific financial products. A monthly electronic newsletter is also sent to subscribers of the portal. The site is updated regularly and new information is added on a monthly basis.

The Annual Report summarises a selection of important cases dealt with by the Unit in the year under review. The aim is to show the diversity and complexity of the cases the Unit has received and investigated.

The Annual Report may be downloaded from the MFSA Website.