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GIZ Publication on Financial Consumer Protection and Financial Education in Germany to help developing countries learn from the German experience
In 2014, a short study on „Financial Consumer Protection and Financial Education in Germany“ was prepared by iff staff on behalf of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. In the form of a booklet, the material summarises institutional aspects of the Consumer Protection framework that exists in Germany in the area of retail financial services. It will hopefully provide inpetus and ideas for other countries to use and can serve as a point of reference with examples of better practice from one the EU’s most developed Member States.

Germany is a good example for implementation of up-to-date standards of financial consumer protection. The interaction between the law of the European Union and the historic concept of the German civil law is helpful to see how incorporation of new standards could be done successfully. The German case shows diversity in its financial service providers, strong consumer associations that are well anchored in the civil society able to influence the frame of retail financial markets, state-subsidised media and foundations that inform consumers in a neutral and independent way, and a diversity of existing financial education programmes. In addition, the framework can rely on Germany being a country where political debates and critiques of the current situation are open and where public authorities are focused on consumer protection with a proactive behaviour with regard to regulation and supervision of financial markets and practices for consumers. The country system also enjoys a consensus that bringing social and market approaches together can take account of the most vulnerable consumers in society through helping them with access to affordable financial products, services and advice. While showing some positive signs, areas of improvement would nevertheless be in the area of implementation of scientific research and statistical data to obtain a sounder basis for political decisions and to make programmes and initiatives more efficient.

The German experience could inspire new ideas to establish a sustainable financial system that does not exclude consumers from basic financial services and that will help consumers to use their income at the right place, at the right time, in an efficient and productive way and within the risks the individual consumer is able or willing to bear. In the long-term, financial consumer protection will contribute to greater stability of the financial system as a whole.

ID: 49114
Author(s): SCR
Publication date: 01/01/15

Created: 11/01/17. Last changed: 11/01/17.
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