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NZ Insurance Scheme Attracts Attention In Mexico

New Zealand’s Insurance & Savings Ombudsman Scheme Attracts Attention at Conference in Mexico

Karen Stevens, New Zealand’s Insurance & Savings Ombudsman, was a keynote speaker at the recent International Conference on the Protection of Financial Services Users in Mexico.

Held under the auspices of CONDUSEF (the National Commission for the Protection and Defence of Financial Services Users), the Conference attracted participants from Britain, Europe, Canada, the US and Ireland.

“There was a great deal of interest in the New Zealand Scheme,” said Ms Stevens. “It is unique, in that it is privately organised and operated with the voluntary participation of the service providers in the savings and insurance sectors. A private scheme would probably fail in a country like Mexico, where the population is expected to reach 100 million this year.”

“CONDUSEF, by contrast, is advocate, arbitrator, ombudsman ad regulator, all in one. The Mexicans were intrigued by our Scheme which has demonstrated both efficiency and effectiveness in dispute resolution and consumer protection, without the overlay of government regulation.”

“Our experience shows that self-regulation can work very well. New Zealand’s characteristic practicality and pragmatism of approach in this area proved of considerable interest to Conference participants,” said Ms Stevens.

While the participating financial service providers did not appear to be entirely in favour of the government scheme, the shared experiences of the guest speakers indicated that an independent resolution scheme was vital for consumer protection and promoted better consumer relations.

It is of particular interest that the Conference was held in mid-June, with Mexico’s general elections being held on 2 July 2000. For the first time in 71 years, there is now a new government in Mexico.

For more information:
Karen Stevens
Insurance & Savings Ombudsman
Telephone: 04 499 7612
Facsimile: 04 499 7614
E-mail: iombudsman@clear.net.nz

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