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The Role of Consumer Organizations to Support Consumers of Financial Services in Low and Middle Income Countries

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Consumer associations can play an important role in improving consumer protection in low- and middle-income countries. This report by Consumers International was supported by CGAP as part of an effort to “elevate the collective consumer voice” in financial regulation. Based on a survey with 36 members of Consumers International from 32 low- and middle-income countries the report highlights key approaches that consumer associations can use to advocate for better financial consumer protection.

These approaches range from direct engagement with consumers through complaints handling, to generating insights about the consumer experience through market research, to public interest litigation and consultations with policy-makers. In each case, the report includes a case study. The report also highlights key opportunities for policy makers, funders, and other stakeholders such as the formation of advocacy blocs to focus on future sustainable finance objectives; the establishment of financial services consumer protection law; and the provision of technical expertise from international organizations.

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