Financial service providers and clients share the obligation of responsible provision and responsible use of financial products and services. Clients depend on providers to uphold their responsibility for client protection, and likewise, providers depend on clients to be informed users of financial services.
Providers have a responsibility to avoid over-indebting clients, offer transparent and responsibly priced products, use appropriate collections practices, behave ethically at every point of contact with clients, provide a way for clients to make complaints and have them resolved, and keep client data secure. Clients should know their product options, ask questions when they need clarification, provide the institution with accurate information about themselves, and speak up about problems.
Rather than making decisions for clients, financial service providers should clearly communicate important financial information—some of which may be new to the client—so that clients can make good decisions on their own. Additionally, providers must enter into a conversation with clients; dialogue turns information into communication. This tool is a resource for financial service providers to talk with clients about how to be informed consumers of financial services.
The table on pages 3-4 lists each of the Client Protection Principles (see below), and alongside the principles, provides financial service provider responsibilities and client responsibilities for fulfilling each of the principles. The table demonstrates how institutions and clients share the obligation of responsible provision and responsible use of financial products and services. Institutions can use this table in several ways:
1. As a staff training tool
2. As a client education tool
3. As a poster, flyer, or handout targeted to clients and staff, to remind them of the shared responsibility for client protection
In addition to the table, this tool provides guidance for staff who deliver this information to clients. Staff may find the “Suggested Script for Staff” on page 2 useful for conveying new information.