Rules For The Protection Of Financial Services Users In Venezuela

Author:Mr Rodrigo Stolk
Profession:Torres Plaz & Araujo Abogados

The Superintendency of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (hereafter the "Superintendency") has responded to the letters rogatory from the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court which formed part of the decision of January 24, 2002 and concerned indexed credits and loans for the acquisition of vehicles with reserved ownership under the "balloon payment" scheme. The Superintendency issued Resolution No. 147-02, dated August 28, 2002, named "Rules for the Protection of Users of Financial Services" (hereafter the "Rules") and published in Official Gazette No. 37.517 dated August 30, 2002.

Scope of application of the Rules

The Rules apply to all institutions and entities subject to inspection, supervision, surveillance, regulation and control by the Superintendency under the Decree with the Status of a Law to Reform the General Law of Banks and Other Financial Institutions (hereafter the "Decree-Law"). Financial services are all operations performed by the institutions and entities subject to the Decree-Law with their clients and the general public.

For the purposes of applying the Rules, institutions are universal banks, commercial banks, mortgage banks, investment banks, financial leasing companies, money market funds, savings and loan institutions, foreign exchange firms and border exchange operators.

Responding to the Users of Financial Services and the General Public

Institutions must promptly and carefully respond to any petitions, claims and applications from their clients. Users of the Financial Services will have access to correct, timely and appropriate information concerning the state of their business upon request.

Institutions must inform and guide the public correctly in terms of the services or procedures for performing any operation or transaction, communicating by verbal, written, visual, audiovisual, virtual or any other means. A list of services offered, together with details of their cost and form of processing them must be posted at the offices and agencies of the Institutions. The Institutions must continuously strive for excellence with regard to their services and customer needs. Furthermore, priority should be given to attending to the needs of disabled, senior and pregnant citizens.

Operational Security and Transparency

The Institutions must adopt secure, transparent and reliable systems to handle funds and conduct other operations for their clients. The Superintendency will carry out inspections and...

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