Protection of financial service users represents an interest of not only national experts, but of international ones as well, and the importance of this issue was emphasized by the outbreak of the world financial crisis and by the materialization of risks related to the financial intermediation, and not just from the perspective of the indisputable need to protect the users, but also from the perspective to maintain the stability of the overall financial sector.
In 2011, the regulatory and supervisory function of the Banking Agency of Republika Srpska was modernized and expanded in the field of the protection of financial service users by the adoption of the Law on Amendments to the Law on the Banking Agency of Republika Srpska; Ombudsman for the Banking System of Republika Srpska was established with the purpose of peaceful settlement of disputes between the users and providers of financial services.
By regulating the protection of consumers, i.e. users of financial services, the Law on Banks of Republika Srpska was aligned with the EU acquis, but also amendments were made to the Law on Microcredit Organizations and the Law on Leasing for the purpose of systematic and comprehensive regulation of this issue.
Protection mechanism and instruments need to meet three conditions:
user awareness - having at disposal comprehensive, timely and understandable information on financial services and potential risks to ensure adequate decision making,
fair treatment by banks - implying responsible granting of loans and financial education of users, taking into account the problem of information asymmetry, and
right to efficient and low-cost mechanisms for the peaceful settlement of disputes, as an alternative to court proceedings.
By meeting these terms, relationships between the users and banks are put on a higher level of mutual trust, while the interbank competition becomes more dynamic with respect to meeting the users request for more transparent operations of banks.