CI has finished its three-year project in the Caribbean with a
series of successes including the development of a banking code of
conduct as well as an increase in powers and resources for the
Consumers Affairs Commission in Jamaica.
The general objective of the project was to strengthen consumer
protection policies in the Caribbean by reinforcing the capacity of
non-government consumer organisations and government agencies, and
by increasing consumer awareness about their rights, in particular
within the banking and credit sector.
One of the aims of the project was to create a bridge between
consumer organisations and government agencies, looking at the
needs of both and delivering useful tools to help satisfy those
Over the course of the three years, the project has been
successful in joining the two sides in a collaborative working
relationship on such projects as consumer education campaigns and
in the celebration of World Consumers Rights Day.
Another aim of the project was to raise consumer awareness. The
project has also been successful in doing this through seminars on
issues such as financial services and economic integration,
workshops on strategic planning, data analysis, consumer
protection, complaints handling and education.
Since the project started, there has been an increase in related
news pieces in the media and more concern from government
authorities, for example, in the case of Jamaica where there has
been an increase in the powers and resources of the Consumers
Codes of conduct
The project set out to help key stakeholders to develop a
progressive draft banking code for the Caribbean, including
international best practices that would be acceptable to the
banking sector and consumers alike.
In the case of Jamaica, this effort has been fruitful as the
issue became an important item on the agendas of the Consumers
Affairs Commission and the Bank of Jamaica.
The Code of Conduct, developed by experts from the project, was
launched at a high-profile media event.
Springboard for the future
Overall, the project has strengthened CI's ties with the
Caribbean Consumer Council, and through them, has had a positive
impact on many people from other Caribbean countries who have
attended the meetings.
Several changes have been made for Caribbean consumers. For
example, web pages of government agencies and consumer associations
have been designed or redesigned to be more relevant to the
Working together, with CI, these groups have made great progress
toward achieving better protection in financial services.
The project involved three countries: Jamaica, Trinidad and
Tobago, and Barbados and was funded by the Inter-American
Development Bank (IDB).
Read more on this project from CI's consumer financial services
expert Antonino Cambaceres on our blog.