18/10/2011 –  G20 finance ministers meeting in Paris have agreed new principles on financial consumer protection developed by the OECD.

The principles form part of a broader initiative by G20 leaders to strengthen trust and confidence in the financial sector, which is widely recognised to have fallen since the economic crisis.

“Without consumer trust and confidence we could jeopardise the basis for global economic recovery and growth,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría at a conference in Paris. “Individual households have had to bear the brunt of the consequences of this financial crisis. It has been a catalyst for developing new rules of the game to address financial governance and risks.”

“Financial consumer protection works best when accompanied by policies that promote access to affordable and appropriate financial products and services and through support for financial education and literacy interventions,” he said (Read the full speech).

These three pillars – protection, access, and education – should be integrated in the broader regulatory framework, alongside prudential regulation, governance and competition policies, the OECD said.

The principles were developed by the OECD at the request of G20 finance ministers in February 2011. They were developed in close co-operation with the Financial Stability Board, other international bodies and standard setters, and involved consultations with groups including consumer and industry associations.

Leaders will discuss the principles at the G20 Cannes Summit on 3 and 4 November 2011. “We believe that the G20 should continue putting an emphasis, not only on implementing the principles, but on forthcoming financial education issues,” said Mr Gurría.

For comment or further information, journalists should contact André Laboul, Head of Financial Affairs Division (tel.: +33 145 24 91 27) or Michael Chapman of the OECD’s Financial Affairs division (tel. + 33 1 45 24 79 43).