Study of Client Protection Practices in Latin America and the Caribbean

Assessing the performance of financial institutions in protecting their clients

This report presents the performance of a sample of financial institutions (FIs) in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) against the Smart Campaign's Client Protection Principles (CPPs). It aims to help stakeholders reflect on the current state of practice in LAC and on how gaps in performance can be addressed.The report presents the findings and analysis of a project which examined different types of organizations including NGOs, banks, and credit unions in a range of countries implementing the CPPs. Key findings include:

  • At a high level, institutions perform well in CPPs such as preventing over-indebtedness, responsible pricing, and ethical staff behavior;
  • Institutions display gaps in CPPs such as transparency, appropriate collections, and mechanisms for complaint resolution;
  • One common gap across the principles is the lack of formalization of practices. FIs do not always have written policies to address client protection issues in operational areas such as collections;
  • In some cases where policies do exist, there are no practices to enforce the policies such as staff training, monitoring, and sanctions;
  • Organizations that supplement existing practices with written policies tend to perform significantly better on most principles.

About this Publication

By Guzmán, S.