Only 17% of armenians make use of financial services

02.07.2012 21:28
Only 17% of armenians make use of financial services

YEREVAN, June 2. /ARKA/. Only 17% of Armenia's population make use of financial services, Susan Rutledge, the World Bank's regional expert on consumer protection and financial literacy, said today, when presenting the findings of a study conducted in Armenia as part of the program.

She said the study shows that only about 17% of Armenia's population uses formal financial services, and the rest are beyond the financial system.

‘When we ask people what is the reason, the vast majority’s answer is they do not trust financial organizations. In our report we have attempted to suggest ways to address this problem," she said.
Ms. Rutledge said the World Bank has developed a series of recommendations based on best international experience.

"Financial information for consumers should be simple and straightforward, allowing choosing the most profitable service. Companies must be required to provide accurate information and not mislead consumers," she said.

According to Rutledge, Armenia has made progress in protection of consumer rights after the introduction of the post of financial ombudsman.

"The most challenging and important issue is raising the financial literacy of the population. We are very pleased that a special commission was set up in Armenia to address this problem," she added.
Rutledge said the World Bank Global Consumer Protection and Financial Literacy Program was launched in 2006 and studies were conducted in 18 countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Africa, Latin America, the Middle East.

On his side, the deputy chairman of the Central Bank of Armenia, Nerses Yeritsyan, said a unit was established by the Central Bank to protect consumer rights. Yeritsyan said the World Bank study will be used as a basis for the development of further measures to improve financial literacy and consumer protection in this area. -0-


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