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Consumer choice for financial products and services is proliferating across global markets. The ability to reach consumers at any time on their mobile devices and tablets, or on their in-home computers has helped attract substantial capital investment in consumer financial services.1 Consumers in many diverse markets, with varying degrees of size, sophistication and modernisation, can now access myriad financial products and services with just a swipe, tap or click. Traditionally cash-based economies now also have a wide range of options for electronic payments, alternative lending and other banking and financial services.
The staggering capital investment has, in turn, attracted non-traditional providers to the consumer financial services marketplace. From garage-based start-ups to billion-dollar technology firms, companies that previously focused on delivering smartphones, social media platforms or internet-browsing capabilities are developing innovative approaches to meet consumers’ rapidly evolving demands. Traditional market participants, including banks and other non-bank financial service providers, have responded by innovating to improve their product and service offerings to retain and strengthen their customer relationships.
The increasing rate of innovation in consumer financial services, the changing profile of market participants, and the evolving political landscape have given rise to new legal questions or a different spin on longstanding legal theories. This country-by-country survey of recent developments in consumer financial services considers how these new and different legal theories are being addressed in 14 jurisdictions across the globe, with particular attention to payments, deposits, and revolving credit and instalment credit arrangements.
This survey of consumer finance law describes the legal and regulatory approaches taken in the jurisdictions covered. Each chapter addresses the key characteristics of, and current climate within, a particular jurisdiction. Although payments, lending and deposits are the focus of this survey, other financial products and services are discussed where relevant.