St. Kitts – Nevis Consumers Urged To Learn About Financial Service Businesses

Beware of Crooked Bankers and Brokers

Beware of Get Rich Quick Schemes

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Nevis
March 11, 2011 (SKNIS)

This Year’s World Consumer Rights Day on March 15th, stands in sharp focus as the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and other countries globally feel the impact of increasing economic challenges and by extension the value of the dollar in meeting their needs.

The Senior Minister with responsibility for Consumer Affairs Hon. Timothy Harris has announced a full week of activities that will be observed locally to emphasize Government’s thrust at increased consumer awareness and its encouragement of consumers to expect their rights to be honoured.

Consumers International, the International Organization championing Consumers rights has chosen as its theme “Consumers for Fair Financial Services”. On this day consumers are encouraged to “demand access to safe, fair and competitive markets in financial services for all consumers”.

Dr. Harris said, “Consumers should demand fairness at all times. Here in St. Kitts and Nevis we want consumers to demand a fair deal not only from the providers of financial services but from all entities. Such fairness will require providers to offer us more reliable and competitive services”.

In an address to the Nation he sought to bring clarity to the  organizations that share responsibility in overseeing fairness in the financial sector including the Government, Regulators such as the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, Ministry of Finance, and the Eastern Caribbean Securities Regulatory Commission: as well as Self Regulatory Organizations such as the Bankers’ Association and Citizens. The Minister outlined the specific roles of each entity.

In his concluding remarks he called on individuals to examine their behaviour by asking the following questions; Am I treating myself fairly? Am I getting enough information to make wise decisions? Do I know my rights and am I insisting on them?

The week of activities starts on March 13th, with a 9am church service at Rivers of Living Water Christian Centre. It continues with visits to schools on March 14th and 15th.   A guest appearance by Consumer Affairs representatives on the Freedom Radio “Issues” takes place March 16th.  Thursday March 17th will feature visits to the manufacturing sector and a Panel discussion “Fairness for Consumers- Conducting Financial Transactions.”

The week of activities will climax on Friday March 18th with Consumer Awareness Day at Independence Square.