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23/05/14 BRAZIL - Brazilian consumers win claim against banks - iff support on interest rate claims successful.

Brazilian consumer organisations have filed a multitude of claims against banks who withheld the contractually convened interest payments with the primary argument that that keeping to their contractual obligations towards Brazilian small savers would have caused them to have to file for bankruptcy. At the eights financial services conference in Hamburg the participants... [more...]

07/03/14 IRELAND and ECRC: A major report from ECRC partner FLAC stresses the need for responsible credit. It says consumers need proper legal protections as the report on Consumers of financial...

IRELAND and ECRC: A major report from ECRC partner FLAC says consumers need proper legal protections as a Report on Consumers of financial services shows they are being badly let down by the system. ECRC partner from Ireland, Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) has produced a comprehensive report outlining how consumers are entitled to a high level of legal protection as a... [more...]

28/11/13 News from our partner NCRC about the War on Poverty in financial services in the USA

Our partner in the USA the National Community Reinvestment Coalition with whom we intentionally share the abbreviation CRC (Coalition for Responsible Credit) defends the rights of especially poor people in the USA to have fair, responsible and equal access to financial services. It was once born out of misuse banks provided when redlining whole areas of cities in which... [more...]

02/04/13 Ireland – Regulation of debt-help and debt management industry needed

Central Bank orders debt-help firm to stop taking cash from clients (see article from the Independent) Central bank stops a firm that acts for distressed borrowers from taking payments. Showing the need for the debt management industry to be adequately regulated in Ireland and the EU. Money Village takes money off people in financial trouble and pays it to banks and... [more...]

25/03/13 FINLAND – Our ECRC partner in Finland has undergone a merger with the Competition authorities. We hope that it will be able to continue its excellent work for consumers (nationally and...

The Finnish Competition and Consumer Authority (FCCA or KKV (Kilpailu- ja kuluttajavirasto) began operations on 1 January 2013. The agency was created by joining the Finnish Competition Authority and the Finnish Consumer Agency. The new agency increases the societal significance of competition and consumer issues and improves administration efficiency. The legally mandated... [more...]

22/03/13 News from Ireland: Personal Insolvency Act 2012, central bank announcement of additional Measures on Mortgage Arrears, inspection of licensed moneylenders, report on Retail Intermediary...

See some recent consumer related news from Ireland including the financial supervisor’s new Consumer Protection strategy based on the 5 “C”s framework: CONSUMER alongside CONFIDENCE, COMPLIANCE, CHALLENGE and CULTURE. Personal Insolvency Act 2012 See the following link: Civil Law The Personal Insolvency Act... [more...]

21/03/13 Consumers International publish some details on consumer finance and consumer protection measures in non-EU countries, and a worldwide overview of consumer protection generally...

Here attached are two reports recently published by Consumers International. The first contains examples of better practice in consumer protection measures related to financial services’ markets, the second covers the state of consumer protection in the world (but not only with regard to financial services).   In search of good practices - Financial consumer Protection... [more...]

31/01/13 Update on recent adopted laws in Portugal: ECRC partner from Portugal gives an update of latest laws on responsible lending, mortgages and default, Minimum banking services.

PT – Responsible lending Package Decree-law nr. 226/2012 of 18 October and Decree-law nr. 227/2012 of 25 October constitutes the legislative package that aims to combat situations of over-indebtedness and tackle the escalation of non-compliance consumer credit that have been experiencing in recent years given the difficult economic climate that has affected the country.... [more...]

17/07/12 Secretaria Nacional do Consumidor – SENACON

Prezado associado e amigo do Brasilcon, Com satisfação, informo que na manhã desta quarta-feira, 18 de julho, a Secretaria Nacional do Consumidor – SENACON, criada no último dia 28 de maio pela Presidenta Dilma Rousseff, passou a ter como titular, Juliana Pereira da Silva, bacharel em Direito e fundadora do Observatório das Relações de Consumo do Estado de São Paulo. A... [more...]

06/07/11 News from Ireland: Guide to Mortgage Arrears, Industry Standard Financial Statement, and sky-high charges on overdrafts

July 2011 Mortgage Arrears – A Consumer Guide to Dealing with Your Lender   Industry Standard Financial Statement Probe into sky-high charges on... [more...]

28/06/11 UK Update - FSA publishes further details of proposed approach for the Financial Conduct Authority and Government consults on radical proposals to simplify the consumer protection landscape.

FSA publishes further details of proposed approach for the Financial Conduct Authority The FSA has published details of the proposed approach to be taken by the Financial Conduct Authority when this takes on the responsibility for consumer protection at the end of 2012. Government has previously set out ... [more...]

06/12/10 Brazil - Handbook on over-indebtedness launched and draft bill for revision of the Brazilian Consumer Protection Code planned, focusing on the consumer credit markets and over-indebtedness.

Below is a translation of Brasilcon’s news update, our Brazilian partner of the Global Coalition for Responsible Credit. Dear friend and associate of Brasilcon, We inform you with satisfaction on the launch of the Handbook about overindebtedness, the result of a partnership between the Department of Consumer Protection and Defense (DPDC) and experts: Claudia Lima Marques,... [more...]

09/11/10 Ireland – The scary prospects for the country calls for initiatives and goodwill from all sides – mortgage repossessions, debt collection and new beginning.

The situation in Ireland is getting worse. While we hope that ECRC partner FLAC is able to influence outcomes of parliamentary committees that are as helpful to Irish consumers and debtors as possible, as recognised by Paul Joyce at the ECRC/CfRC London Conference last month, the fight against mass mortgage default is unfortunately very much dependent on house prices. As a... [more...]

31/03/10 Recent news from Ireland – Failure to regulate debt advice sector, Statement on the banking sector, and loans of a larger amount for Credit Unions

Failure to regulate debt advice sector astonishing Personal Finance, Business - By Charlie Weston Tuesday March 30 2010 THE failure of Finance Minister Brian Lenihan and the staff in his department to grasp the necessity to regulate those firms... [more...]

22/09/09 ECRC partner newsletter - The Finnish Consumer Agency's Newsletter 5 is dedicated to the theme: Credit & Money

5/2009 Theme: Credit & Money [From the Editor] Essential credit on adequate terms In projects related to changes in essential services, we have repeatedly stated that services required by everyone should be priced fairly. Price determination may not be left to the market when there is sure to be plenty of demand. It is surprising how difficult it has been for some to let... [more...]

20/07/09 US Partner NCRC shares details of recent dialogue with the Obama Administration and a forthcoming paper explaining what happened and the response the US is taking.

NEWS FROM THE STATES: The current global financial meltdown began with the collapse of the U.S. Subprime Mortgage Market, which continues to wreak havoc throughout that nation and the world. What really happened, and what is being done in response – by lawmakers and the Obama Administration, by bank regulators, and by civic leaders and hard-hit communities? More... [more...]

18/07/09 Malta report on the implementation of the Consumer Credit Directive

As part of the Coalition's work monitoring the implementation of the CCD in the EU Member States, our partner from Malta gives us an update. (contribution from Paul Micallef) To date no indication has been given as to how the Government of Malta intends to implement the Consumer Credit Directive. The previous consumer credit directive was implemented in July 2005 with... [more...]

07/07/09 UK news - Debt Action Forum SCOTLAND produces a report, UK Insolvency Service produces a new guide to debtors and debt advisors, and the FSA produces its annual report and toughens up...

IN DEBT - DEALING WITH YOUR CREDITORS On 2nd July 2009 the Insolvency Service launches its new guide to debtors and debt advisors, entitled ‘In Debt? Dealing with your creditors.’ The guide contains an overview of the main debt solutions, not just those administered by the Insolvency Service, and addresses what we believe to be a gap in the literature currently available... [more...]

07/07/09 IRELAND – ECRC member FLAC lanches report highlighting voice of debtors, Government Amends Bill 2009 on Enforcement of Court Order, and National Steering Group on Financial Education...

Free Legal Advice Centres (FLAC) has launched its report on debt enforcement. FLAC Senior Policy Researcher Paul Joyce has been one of the founding members of the ECRC and committed supporter of promoting responsible credit. FLAC unveiled its latest report on 6 July, calling for radical overhaul of Ireland's Dickensian laws on debt enforcement. The report, launched by... [more...]

06/07/09 CONSULTATION - The Office of Fair Trading needs ECRC opinions for its review of the high cost consumer credit sector in the UK

The OFT has shown leadership by realising the serious problem of extortionate credit provision in the UK. Following its informal consultation, it has now decided that to avoid duplication with other initiatives in the UK, it is best to narrow the scope of the review to high cost credit. This will refine their focus to an area where they consider consumers are most... [more...]

06/07/09 UK CONSUMER POLICY - The UK Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) releases its Consumer White Paper. This contains proposals on real help for vulnerable consumers; a new...

On 2nd July the Government published a consumer White Paper “A Better Deal for Consumers: Delivering Real Help Now and Change for the Future”. A Better Deal for Consumers sets out the real help we are providing now to people in financial difficulties, and the longer term measures we are planning to bolster confidence. The help we are providing for consumers now aims to... [more...]

10/06/09 DOCUMENTARY – ECRC partner ADICAE in Spain has made a recent documentary on private household debt in Spain with subtitles in English

With its audiovisual-partners:, ADICAE has successfully brought attention to the problem of debt through its film “In debt”. For those that want to understand how Spain became reliant on real estate and increasing indebtedness please click on the following link (label for an english version of the whole page). CAUGHT IN THE SPIDER'S WEB OF DEBT You can... [more...]

27/03/09 Country updates - ECRC partner ZPS shares recent developments in Slovenia and Ukraine where efforts have been made to promote the messages of responsible credit further East.

UKRAINE Retail financial services markets in Ukraine have been paralyzed in the last few months, with few indicators on when the situation will improve. At the moment, the provision of consumer credit has entirely stopped. As in most Central and Eastern European countries, widespread lending in foreign currency was typical in the Ukraine, a practice started by foreign... [more...]

28/04/08 UPDATE ON DEVELOPMENTS IN FINLAND – ECRC’s Finnish partner Kuluttajavirasto (The Consumer Agency) concentrates the latest edition of its “Current Issues” Bulletin on the subject of...

Our Finnish partner gives us all a clear example of the sort of activities and newsletters which we should all be trying to report make to each other. The Finnish Consumer Agency's Newsletter 3/2008 has the theme: Financial Services. The edition reports on: MARKETING: The importance of making sure that contractual terms are clear and advertising is straightforward, that... [more...]

31/03/08 UK BANKS - The announcement of a new Banking Code and promise by providers to treat customers fairly and reasonably may sound like an empty promise to some, despite some noteworthy...

Below is the British Bankers' Association (BBA) press release announcing the New Banking Code and the new provisions. NEW BANKING CODE LAUNCHED 31/03/2008 The new Banking Code and Business Banking Code contain an enhanced promise by banks and building societies to treat customers fairly and reasonably. That promise is supported by eight key commitments and the standards... [more...]

20/12/07 IRELAND - Submission to government from ECRC partner FLAC on subprime lending

SUBMISSION TO DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE ON THE REGULATION OF SUB PRIME AND OTHER UNREGULATED PROVIDERS OF FINANCIAL SERVICES FREE LEGAL ADVICE CENTRES, OCTOBER 5TH, 2007 Introduction Free Legal Advice Centres welcomes the decision of the Government and the Department of Finance to introduce legislation to extend the scope of financial regulation and the consumer protection... [more...]


(By Emma Kennedy from the Sunday Business Post - Dublin,Ireland) Sub-prime mortgage lenders and equity release firms have welcomed the Financial Regulator’s decision to regulate the sector with effect from early next year. Previously, these types of firms were not fully regulated by the Financial Regulator, but they will be authorised and supervised from February. Firms... [more...]

05/11/07 REPORTS ON NATIONAL CONFERENCES - French partner INC has published a full report on the stakeholder event held in Paris in June 2007. Think about organising a seminar in your own...

We remind you of the section of the website dedicated to national conferences (see the link below to read the reports from the various ECRC national conferences that have taken place this year). Also attached are the two latest reports from Paris (in French) and from Edinburgh (in English). We hope that details on the discussions that featured in these events will... [more...]

15/09/07 BRUSSELS 2007! Plenary 2: Country Reports The Stakeholder Parliament: Brazil, Japan,South Africa, Finland

Plenary 2 Reports from Brazil, Japan,South Africa, Finland [more...]

14/09/07 BRUSSELS 2007! Plenary 2: Country Reports The Stakeholder Parliament:Ireland, Switzerland, Spain

BRUSSELS 2007! Plenary 2: Ireland, Switzerland (de); Spain [more...]

14/09/07 BRUSSELS 2007! Plenary 2: "NGO Action for Responsible Financial Services – National Conferences and Country Reports" - OUTLINE

P2a: TWO YEARS OF A GLOBAL COALITION: Udo Reifner (ECRC, Germany) and John Taylor (NCRC, USA) P2b: REPORTS FROM THE NATIONAL CONFERENCES AND DOMESTIC DISCUSSIONS Edinburgh: Damon Gibbons, DOOD (UK); Helsinki: Anja Peltonen, kuluttajavirasto (Finland); Capetown: Chris Osborn, you & your money (RSA); Trento: Paolo Landi, Adiconsum (Italy); Bern: Mario Roncoroni, Verein... [more...]

14/09/07 BRUSSELS 2007! Plenary 2: "Reports from the National Conferences and Domestic Discussions" - OUTLINE

- Imminent - [more...]

22/01/07 RESPONSIBLE CREDIT – The latest Dutch legislative efforts to improve domestic credit markets could be interesting for some of the other European countries to emulate

ECRC’s founding Dutch member Harro Norder from NVVK (Dutch council of municipal banks) shares with us the latest initiatives he and his bank have led in their efforts to make Dutch credit markets more socially responsible. LIMITED INTEREST RATES Over-indebtedness is strongly related to small loans with high interest rates. Financing cars, home video sets and so one are... [more...]

13/12/06 UK LENDING POLICY - Defending the need for sustainable responsible lending DOOD warns against weaker consumer protection under the new CCA, the inherent power imbalance in credit...

ECRC member DOOD took part in a meeting on wednesday 6 December, organised by the Social Market Foundation where the Chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, Rt Hon John McFall MP, shared his views on the discussion title "Regulating by Values: Is a sustainable responsible lending policy required?" Speakers included: John McFall MP (Chair, Treasury Select Committee);... [more...]

19/11/06 OVERINDEBTEDNESS - Swiss Conference presents case studies: How consumers are lured into overindebtedness.

At the Swiss conference in Berne organised by the Berne debt advice organisation, Charly Gmür from Lucerne presented a number of low level beehives all containing small windows through which one could see specific case studies and where by peering inside one could read the concrete story of how a consumer had been lured into overindebtedness by inadequate bank behaviour as... [more...]

23/10/06 IRELAND – Reform of Money Advice Services will include investigation into the unacceptable high levels of interest currently being charged by financial institutions and companies on...

Government even more behind single parent families as new statistics show that more than half of new clients are single or single with children. Other statistics include: only 21.2% of the clients have mortgages, and over half of the debt is owed to banks/financial institutions and a further 21.8% owed to credit unions. MINISTER ANNOUNCES MAJOR STRENGTHENING OF... [more...]

13/10/06 FAIRNESS - a term still open to interpretation in the UK. Despite lots of pending regulation for the consumer (e.g. EU harmonisation, MiFID, new protection for vulnerable customers,...

LOOK BEYOND MIFID (by Roger Tym, partner at law firm Lovells) MiFID and TCF requirements coming into effect next year could merely be the prelude to wider change of definitions in relation to the concept of acting fairly when providing and intermediating financial services, warns Roger Tym, partner at law firm Lovells. He suggests the current challenge in coming up... [more...]

28/09/06 OVERINDEBTEDNESS – The ILO publishes an overview on Overindebtedness in Germany

Oliver Haas of the iff (Hamburg) contributes to the ILO mandate given to the Social Finance Program to establish a sound knowledge base about the links between over-indebtedness and its implications for the protection of wages. This first of a series of country case studies will help to identify areas for improvement in consumer protection and entry points for advisory and... [more...]

07/09/06 JAPANESE LENDING – Keen reformers of credit regulation in Japan are disappointed with draft bill containing loopholes. No effective strengthening of consumer protection and lowering of...

THE FSA FLINCHES (Sep 7th 2006, The Economist) A ROW BREAKS OUT OVER THE FUTURE OF JAPAN'S CONSUMER FINANCE WEEKLY manga magazines such as Shonen Magazine, which targets males in their late teens and early twenties, are fairly barren when it comes to advertisements. That makes the glossy ads they carry for consumer-finance companies stand out. That Japanese youths are... [more...]

10/08/06 USURY CEILINGS – A strengthening in Japanese regulation of Consumer Lending could take place within the next 6 month as suggested by unification of interest rate caps, tighter control...

SHARK-INFESTED WATERS (From The Economist Aug 10th 2006) CONTROVERSIAL REFORMS MAY HELP JAPAN, EVEN IF THEY HURT LENDERS AS A registered moneylender, Syouichi Kawamura has what, at first glance, looks like a cosy job. He spends his day cycling around bars and restaurants in the Ginza district of Tokyo, collecting money from his clients. The hard part is keeping tabs on... [more...]

02/08/06 USURY CEILINGS IN THE UK - Progress in Responsible Credit in the UK as 150 members of the English parliament come out in favour of interest rates caps being introduced into the UK.

Attacks on usury ceilings in Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands with regard to the seemingly successful English "free market system" in credit, is now counteracted by 150 members of the English parliament who have signed a declaration on interest rates caps to be introduced into the UK. 150 MP’S SUPPORT A CAP ON INTEREST RATES Support in Parliament is... [more...]

01/08/06 IRELAND – Rising debt servicing costs will harm the increasingly indebted. At over 30% annual growth in June, non-mortgage credit is growing even faster than mortgage credit.

BANK WARNS OF PRIVATE SECTOR INDEBTEDNESS (The Irish Times - Laura Slattery and Gabrielle Monaghan) Private sector borrowing is rising at the fastest rate in over six years, the Central Bank said yesterday, despite repeated calls for moderation. The annual growth rate in private sector credit hit 30.3 per cent in June, up from 29.8 per cent in May, and the strongest... [more...]

18/07/06 OVERINDEBTEDNESS – UK poor have debt-to-income ratios of >300%. Bankruptcies and write-offs on credit card loans rise, increased borrowing costs for the poor ahead.

SOUNDING THE RETREAT (Jul 13th 2006 from The Economist) THE BANKS PULL BACK ON CONSUMER LENDING It could not have been clearer that consumer lending was out of control in 2003, when the Royal Bank of Scotland offered Monty Slater a credit card with a £10,000 ($16,300) limit and the chance to earn air-miles. Monty was, according to his owner, a “lovely shih-tzu” dog. ... [more...]

28/04/06 "The Wealth of Nations" Session A2 Country report: The Netherlands

RESPONSIBLE CREDIT WHY? Lots of research actually shows us that financial problems lead to social problems. Obvious classical themes such as social exclusion, easy access to the criminal scene and so on are often discussed. Being aware of the social ramifications that a problematic financial situation can have is important, but it is not always the only source of... [more...]

28/04/06 "The Wealth of Nations" Session A3 Country report: Greece

by Melina Mouzouraki Legal Adviser of EKPIZO Consumers’ Association NATIONAL REPORT G G R E E C E TABLE of CONTENTS 1. Introduction – Level of indebtedness, main providers of credit for consumers, percentage of people in default 2. Access to credit in Greece 3. Protective rules on over-indebtedness a. Overindebtedness as a problem... [more...]

28/04/06 "The Wealth of Nations" Session A3 Country report: Slovenia

by Boštjan Krisper, ICORI 1. ICORI International Consumer Research Institute - ICORI was founded in 1993 by the Slovene Consumers’ Association (ZPS) and the British consumer organization Consumer Association and is seated in Ljubljana. ICORI is a research organization, which deals with consumer policy, consumer research, comparative testing of quality of consumer... [more...]

28/04/06 "The Wealth of Nations" Session A2 Country report: Malta

Conference on responsible credit - April 28 & 29, 2006 – Brussels Responsible credit – the position in Malta Paul Edgar Micallef Malta Consumer Affairs Council1 Until the enactment of the Consumer Credit Regulations in March 2005 there were no express norms regulating the provision of credit to consumers. Credit to consumers was a matter regulated by the general... [more...]

27/04/06 Excel Table on Legal Rules to prevent overindebtedness (contract law and bankrutpcy law) as well as institutional arrangements in 15 European States (iff survey 2003)

iff offers their background material to its 2003 report on Regulations to prevent overindebtedness in the European Union. Use it and send us updates or add your country and answer its questions so that we can further draw an actual and complete picture on cultural achievements on responsible credit in Europe. [more...]

26/04/06 "The Wealth of Nations" – Session A1: Country Report Germany by Manfred Westphal, Lars Gatschke and Helga Springeneer, Verbraucherzentrale Bundesverband (vzbv), Federation of German...

I. Country presentation (Q.1) · Level of indebtedness (as of 31 Dec 2005): o Total outstanding consumer credit („Other loans to domestic employees and other individuals”): 234 Billion €, o Total outstanding mortgage credit (“Housing loans to domestic employees and other individuals”): 779 Billion € All in all the level of indebtedness has increased continuously over... [more...]

26/04/06 "The Wealth of Nations" Country report from Ireland Liam Edwards Money Advice and Budgeting Service Ireland

1. Introduction Population 4.1 m Credit Providers : Retail banks, Building societies, Credit Unions, Moneylenders (Home Credit), Mail order companies, Hire Purchase organisations, Supermarkets, Local authorities, Gas Board, credit intermediaries such as large retail outlets and car sales. • Mortgage debt 82% of total personal debt. • 76% home ownership 2nd highest... [more...]


Created: 27/02/06. Last changed: 09/06/06.
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