The government of Hong Kong will establish a Financial Dispute Resolution Center by mid 2012. This announcement was made by Secretary for Financial Services & the Treasury Professor KC Chan in early December 2010. “The Financial Dispute Resolution Centre is responsible for managing an independent and impartial dispute resolution scheme by way of ‘mediation first, arbitration next’. It offers a speedy and affordable way to handle monetary disputes between consumers and financial institutions. If disputes cannot be resolved through mediation, claimants can choose to bring their cases to arbitration,” Chan said.
The Center will not only provide resolution services between consumers and financial institutions, but will focus on prevention of financial disputes through investor education. The aim of this educational initiative will be to develop financial literacy among the general public. “It will raise people’s awareness of their rights and responsibilities and generic knowledge of financial products, and will also help enhance their abilities in managing finance, helping them make better financial decisions” Chan explained.
Prior to the decision to launch the Center, the bureau consulted with industry groups and consumers and received over 115 public comments.
(This research has been supported by the Research Grants Council Public Policy Research Grant number HKU7001-PPR-10)