Consumer Protection and Financial Education
Safeguarding the rights of consumers in the financial sector is one of the important tasks of the National Bank of Georgia. Hence, the Consumer Rights Protection Division was established in 2011. The primary task of the division is to monitor the enforcement of the current legislative requirements for this area of the financial sector, along with improving consumer protection practices in the sector. The division accepts, reviews and responds to complaints from users in accordance with the active Georgian legislation.
The financial education division was established in 2017, tasked with the mission to raise the level of financial education among the population and promote greater awareness of financial issues in general. FinEdu, an independent web portal, was launched to serve the financial education mission. Being the first Georgian educational platform that is fully dedicated to financial education, it offers educational resources such as publications and blogs, brochures, textbooks and other similar printed and support materials, videos and audio content. For more details, please visit the Financial Education website (Portal is available only in Georgian).
For the purposes of the Regulation, a consumer is any current or potential user of the financial sector services, who may be both an individual and a legal entity, and a financial institution is a commercial bank, microfinance institution, credit union and lending entity. The Regulation describes the process from the offer of products to the customer to the conclusion of the contract. It also sets out the obligations of the financial institution and the rights of the customer in the period after the conclusion of the contract. In addition, the Regulation covers the issues of responding to customer complaints, customer information requirements, the process of advance repayment of loans, commissions, the template of the contract and more.
This Regulation deals with how the representatives of the financial sector and other organizations send information about their customers to credit information bureaus, and then how this information is processed and recorded.
Article 625 of the Civil Code of Georgia, including for users of the financial sector services, is important and remarkable. This article sets the amount of the maximum annual effective interest rate to be accrued on the loans, the maximum amount of the daily penalty fee, the limit of the total amount to be accrued on overdue loans and the amount of the maximum penalty for early repayment of the loan. The same article sets limits on the currency of loans to individuals and legal entities within a certain limit.
The Regulation secures the availability and full transparency of the terms of payment service for the customers so that the users of the payment service can make informed choices. The Regulation applies to payment service providers operating in Georgia, commercial banks licensed by the National Bank of Georgia, payment service providers registered by the National Bank of Georgia and microfinance institutions. The Regulation sets out the list of information on payment services that that providers need to deliver to the customers, both before and after receiving the payment service, including information on the fee to be paid and the form of its delivery.