Spain Plans New Consumer Financial Protection Agency

Following a flood of financial services complaints from consumers in Spain, the government is planning to create a consumer protection authority, Reuters reported Tuesday (April 5).

The new agency’s mission would be to guarantee banks and financial institutions (FIs) meet their obligations toward customers, particularly elders; respond to complaints of unfair lending practices and those who have been denied services.

“(Financial services) is the area with the highest number of complaints from citizens, and one that has a very high degree of litigation,” Spain’s Vice President and Minister for Economy and Digitalization Nadia Calviño told reporters, according to the news outlet.

The as-yet unnamed authority would take on a number of duties currently performed by various state bodies, including Spain’s central bank, the National Stock Market Commission (CNMV), and the country’s Pensions and Insurance regulator (DGSFP).

The independent authority would be created under the Ministry of the Economy, aiming to correct the shortcomings of Best Practices guidelines that have allowed banks a wide margin to directly renegotiate terms with customers, which some critics have said leaves consumers at a disadvantage.

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