The Financial Sector Forum (FSF) which counts the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), Insurance Commission (IC), Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as members, has issued its latest set of advisories to guide bank clients and the investing public.
The advisories are part of FSF’s continuing program to promote consumer protection and a strong financial system. To ensure maximum dissemination, the advisories have four versions: Filipino, Cebuano, Ilocano and English.
Among others, the FSF warns against offers of extremely high returns on investments or rates of deposits. “The higher the returns, the greater the risk,” FSF declared.
The inter-agency body also advised investors to be diligent in understanding the financial products they want to invest in, to carefully read the terms and conditions of any agreement that they sign including the fine print, and to avoid questionable or suspicious deals, such as “get rich quick” offers.
On the other hand, depositors were advised by FSF to deal only with bank employees within the premises of the bank to avoid being victimized by unscrupulous individuals posing as bank employees. In cases where the bank is authorized by BSP to solicit deposits outside its premises, depositors should take the necessary precautions to ensure that they are dealing with authorized bank personnel.
FSF also cautioned depositors to be wary of unrealistically high offers of interest rates or expensive gifts, such as cars, local or foreign trips, etc. Offers that sound too good to be true should be avoided, the FSF advised.
The FSF is a voluntary interagency body between the heads of BSP, SEC, IC and PDIC, principally to provide an institutionalized framework for coordinating the supervision and regulation of the financial system.