Updated consumer protection laws necessary: Vansittart

December 9, 2023 7:53 am

Ariel shot of Suva City [File Photo]

With technology evolving at a very fast pace, ANZ Bank Fiji’s Chief Risk Officer, Simon Vansittart, says consumer protection laws must be up to date.

Vansittart notes that the digitalization of the Fijian economy rapidly gained pace during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, with its immeasurable benefits to the country and the financial system, he says it also brings its own set of risks.

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He emphasizes that no one knows whether the technology we are using today will still exist in the next two to five years.

To counter the harmful impacts of scams, fraud, and data loss, Vansittart asserts that the whole ecosystem needs to be innovative, and everyone has to work together.

“Ultimately, it’s about trying to create a more robust financial system. Innovation, not just innovation in products and services, but in regulation itself is vital for the digital age. Technology firms, telecommunications companies, even retail groups are starting to move into financial services. This brings consumers benefit and choice, but also new and emerging risks that need to be managed.”

Furthermore, Vansittart states that banks will also need to engage with regulators, lawmakers, and government bodies more proactively to find the right balance in protecting all customers.