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Peru

Formal institutions are the main providers of microfinance services in Peru, including commercial banks and three types of specialized financial entities: (1) municipal savings and credit banks (CMACs), (2) rural savings and credit banks (CRACs), and (3) entities for development of small and micro enterprises (EDPYMEs). There are also semi-formal and informal providers, including credit NGOs and credit cooperatives. The formal institutions are regulated by the Superintendency of Banking and Insurance (SBS). Some unregulated microfinance providers voluntarily report financial disclosures to the Consortium of Private Organizations that Promotes the Development of Small and Medium Enterprises (COPEME). The National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property Protection (INDECOPI) regulates consumer protection.

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Regulators

Microfinance & Banking

Consumer Protection

The regulatory and supervisory framework for financial consumer protection regulation in Peru is extensive. Transparency and fair treatment are particularly emphasized, as are the requirements on disclosures and sales/marketing practices. In this context, financial institutions are free to set interest rates, charges and fees, though abusive terms and conditions are strictly regulated. The Superintendency of Banking and Insurance (SBS) has broad regulatory and enforcement authority (including sanction powers) in a number of issues ranging from transparency to service quality. Usually it does not solve disputes between consumers and providers. It has power over banks, financial enterprises, rural savings and credit banks (CRACs), municipal savings and credit banks (CMACs), and entities for development of small and micro enterprises (EDPYMEs). The National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property (INDECOPI) has among its tasks to provide consumer information and education, issue regulations, and offer recourse. Within INDECOPI, the Defense Tribunal for Competition and Intellectual Property is the second and last administrative recourse available to consumers after the Executive Commission for Consumer Protection (CPC), which oversees the application of the Consumer Protection Law (Supreme Decree No. 006-2009-PCM) and resolves grievances. INDECOPI’s Consumer Protection and Complaints Office (OSCAR) is the “first aid” for consumers, especially to low-income people.

The Association of Peruvian Banks (ASBANC), an association representing 18 entities in the financial private sector in Peru, created the Ombudsman for Consumer Financial Services (DCF) in 2003. The DCF acts as an independent mediator to prevent or resolve conflicts between clients and the providers in the ASBANC network when there is no other recourse available to the customer.

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