Protection of Financial Services Users: 78% of Claims Favorably Resolved

In December 2021, 78% of the claims submitted by financial services users were resolved in favor of them, according to the first Report on Protection of Financial Services Users prepared by the BCRA.

During December 2021, 326,716 claims were submitted across the financial system regulated by the BCRA, as follows: 81.96% against financial institutions; 13.37% against credit card issuing companies (empresas emisoras de tarjetas de crédito, EETCs); and 4.67% against other non-financial credit providers (otros proveedores no financieros de crédito, OPNFCs).

This report also shows that 0.56 out of 100 financial services users submitted a claim in December 2021. The number of financial services users that carried out transactions during such period was 61,147,260, taking into account that a person that uses services or products in several institutions is considered as one user in each institution. Eighty percent of users carried out transactions through financial institutions, 11% through EETCs, and 9% through OPNFCs.

The Report on Protection of Financial Services Users will be released once a year. It gathers information on the claims submitted against institutions that are part of the financial system, and on the main actions taken by the BCRA.

The BCRA continuously monitors regulated institutions (financial institutions, EETCs, foreign exchange traders, non-financial credit providers, and financial trusts) in order to protect users, prevent mistakes or non-compliances, and promote best practices. The goal is to reduce inequality between sellers/providers of services and purchasers/acquirers.

Assistance to Financial Services Users

In addition to monitoring institutions, the BCRA directly assists financial services users through the channels available at the financial services users section on this website and the BCRA’s Twitter account: @BCRAUsuarios.

The model for financial services user protection focuses on prevention based on the systemic analysis of identified problems. It seeks to determine the grounds for claims and take actions to reach a prompt resolution and prevent their recurrence.

Based on the problems identified, the BCRA has implemented a number of actions that have an impact on financial services users, namely: it has reinforced banks' responsibility for loans granted through electronic channels, it has reinforced security in electronic payments, and it has set a limit of 43% on credit card interest rates, among others.

Also, the BCRA regularly posts tips and recommendations addressed to financial services users to raise awareness about their rights and to warn them about potential scams or abuse.

The report is prepared by the Reporting System and Financial Consumer Protection Deputy General Management Office. It contains data on the claims sorted out by product and topic, and shows two monitoring indicators: the level of claims in the system and the level of resolutions that are favorable to claimants.

Highlights of this Report

• The policies implemented due to the pandemic—social aid programs to mitigate the impact on employment and economic activity—led to the incorporation of a large number of people who were unbanked or underbanked. Increasing difficulties and complaints reported by financial services users match this transactional growth.

• The procedures that are directly received through the BCRA’s channels record real time problems of financial services users. The number of procedures initiated along 2021 was 44,482, broken down as follows: claims, 15.31%; queries, 34.73%; complaints, 13.56%; and comments on Twitter, 36.40%.

• Regarding financial institutions, there were 267.8 thousand claims in December 2021 in comparison to 217.8 thousand in December 2020, reflecting a 23% increase.

• As for EETCs, there were 43.7 thousand claims in December 2021, in comparison to 38.7 thousand recorded in December 2020, reflecting a 13% increase.

• The Claim Indicator shows the number of claims every 100 active users that are submitted to the institutions. On a consolidated basis, this indicator stood at 0.47% in December 2020 and 0.56% in December 2021; that is, in both cases, less than one claim every 100 users carrying out transactions with institutions.

• If the number of claims is compared to the high operation levels of the period per user (number of transfers, debit or credit card payments, payments of installments, debits for fees, promotional discounts, etc.), the indicator would even be smaller.

• Failure to receive or delay in receiving credit card statements is the problem with the highest level of resolution in favor of users—96%. Problems connected with the inability to carry out transactions; unknown or potentially fraudulent transactions; and blocked, disabled or withheld cards show the lowest level of favorable resolution—70%, 71%, and 73%, respectively.

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July 6, 2022

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