Consumers advised to take well-informed decisions

KATHMANDU: Consumer rights activists today blamed financial institutions for exploiting consumers. However others suggested the consumers to take the well-informed decisions while transacting with the financial institutions.

“The consumers are not safe in Nepali financial system due to faults in financial policies and regulatory measures,” said general secretary of Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights-Nepal (FPRCN) Jyoti Baniya addressing the interaction conducted by FPRCN on the occasion of Consumer’s Day.

“Since the policy makers are more concentrated on making the financial institutions stronger, consumers are being neglected,” he blamed.

Accepting the role of regulatory authorities, Dr Yubraj Khatiwada, vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC) said that the consumers should also think before depositing their hard earned money in any financial institutions.

“The capacity of the regulators have to be enhanced as the number of players is increasing,”

he said adding that the financial institutions also have to fine tune their portfolio and constantly inform the public about their financial condition.

Nepal Rastra Bank’s (NRB) executive director Maha Prasad Adhikari said that the regulatory bodies need to be more concentrated on the well being of the financial institutions because a sound economy requires a sound banking system. “However consumers should also

not ignored,” he said adding that the regulatory body’s main objective is the protection of deposits.

Similarly, Nepal Bangladesh Bank’s CEO Gobinda Babu Tiwari said that the consumers have to be aware themselves.

They also discussed on lack of banking services

in rural areas, lack of

uniformity in the interest rates, and irregularities in the procedures of the co-operatives.

The FPRCN appealed the policy makers, government, regulatory authority and the service providers to be committed towards safeguarding the consumers’ rights.