The Central Bank of Nigeria, in its recently revised consumer protection framework, has mandated financial service providers to comply with minimum standards in their advertising and promotional materials
A prerequisite is that FSPs must refrain from mentioning unaudited financial statements in their sales collateral.
Financial reports that have not been reviewed and confirmed for completeness and accuracy by an outside, independent auditor are known as unaudited financial statements.
The nature and value of benefits, when an advertisement refers to or is linked to other value-adding benefits, and refraining from mentioning the names of or drawing comparisons with competitors are among the other requirements. Contact information and its regulatory authority must also be disclosed.
According to CBN, “advertising content must be factual, clear, and not offensive,damaging or misleading.
“Promotional materials must not focus on benefits and downplay risks; consumers should not be charged for unsolicited advertisements,” the document said.
It is imperative that service providers fulfil their sales promotion obligations as promised and stated. They should not require customers to opt-in for promotional materials before they can begin using their products.
Establishing a procedure to routinely assess employees’ conduct and competency is necessary.
“The delivery of a broad range of financial products and services through digital channels, coupled with the proliferation and widespread adoption of technology, has resulted in a significant transformation of the financial services industry.”
The top bank stated that although these modifications had given customers more options, convenience, and accessibility, they had also given them access to new dangers and challenges.
The apex bank also stated that the updated document aims to encourage transparency and disclosure by giving customers timely access to accurate and clear information. This will foster a secure, reliable, and consumer-friendly financial services environment.
According to CBN, it also protects customers from dishonest and predatory business practices that erode trust in the utilisation of financial services and products.