Thursday 19 October 2017

Insurers and banks ordered to cut out the financial jargon

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

BANKS and insurance companies have been told by the Central Bank to use plain English when dealing with consumers.

They have also been asked to do more to help older people and the less educated.

In a review of new rules for finance firms, regulators said most were making progress training their staff to deal with new consumer rules.

But there was still a need for banks and insurers to ditch the financial jargon.

The Central Bank carried out a probe of how banks and insurance companies were coping with revised consumer rules, called the consumer protection code.

Updates to the code were introduced at the start of the year, but companies have been given until the end of this month to implement the new provisions.

The Central Bank said there were still some areas for improvement.

These include the use of plain English to explain financial terms to ensure consumers have clear and accurate information.

Insurance firms and banks were also told to identify the needs of vulnerable consumers and provide reasonable arrangements for them.

A vulnerable consumer is someone who has the capacity to make their own decisions but who may require assistance to do this. This could include someone who is blind or has a hearing problem.

A vulnerable person is also defined as someone who has limited capacity to make his or her own decisions and who requires assistance to do so.

This might include those with intellectual disabilities.

Director of consumer protection Bernard Sheridan said: "The revised code plays a significant role in providing greater consumer protection."

He said that while the Central Bank realised that the new code may have required some firms to engage in enhanced system development and training, it was "imperative" that the code was implemented in full.

Irish Independent

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