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CFTC speaks on consumer worries

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By Thomas Chilaya:

The Competition and Fair Trading Commission (CFTC) has bemoaned a rise in the number of complaints consumers lodge over services and products, saying it is not reflecting well on competition and fair trading dictates.

For instance, the commission says consumer quarries are averaging 40 per month, 21 percent of which are from consumers of financial services and products.

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Speaking recently during an engagement with players from the financial services sector on the sidelines of the 33rd Malawi International Trade Fair, CFTC Executive Director Vincent Nkhoma said more needs to be done to ensure firms are offering seamless products and services.

He said businesses should be proactive to avert grieving the consumers.

“We realised that the financial sector complaints dominate the complaints. There is an increase in complaints related to the sector, ranging from non-disclosure of important information and deductions for transactions that did not occur, among others.

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“It is our role, in line with international requirements, to provide guidance for the firms to operate in line with the needs of the consumers to minimise the number of complaints,” he said.

Nkhoma said through engagements and agreements with regurators of the various sectors, the commission is working towards addressing the challenges.

“We are there to ensure that there is fairness in the market and we are advancing the agenda that there should be internal compliance to detect the problems and dress them before they escalate.

“On average, we receive 40 plus complaints in a month. Those are many and when you look at some of them, they give you and impression to say that if there were adequate policies to detect, we wouldn’t get to that particular level,” Nkhoma said.

One of the participants at the meeting, First Discount House Limited Investment and Operations Manager Benjamin Kanjira said players in the industry are keen to work with CFTC to ensure that they iron out issues of unfair trade practices.

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